A Canadian businessman, Michael Spavor has been sentenced to 11 years in prison in China after a court in the country convicted him of spying.

Spavor was arrested with fellow Canadian ex-diplomat Michael Kovrig and has been detained since 2018.

On the case, the verdict will test a strained relationship between the Canadian and Chinese governments.

However, this development comes as an extradition battle involving Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive at Chinese tech giant Huawei, takes place in Canada.

Considering the term, “hostage diplomacy”, the decision of China has triggered comments from critics, as they have accused the south Asian country of treating both Spavor and Kovrig as political bargaining chips.

According to the Dandong court, the implication of the act was on Wednesday published in a statement. It read: “For the crime of spying and illegal provision of state secrets abroad [Spavor] has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, confiscation of 50,000 yuan ($7715: £5578) worth of personal property and deportation.”