Australia has joined an international coalition of 57 countries condemning hostage diplomacy, in a move designed to ramp up diplomatic pressure on China and other nations which have arbitrarily detained foreigners.
- Signatories include Japan, the UK, US and the vast majority of members in the European Union
- The declaration does not specifically mention any nation
- It is reportedly sparked by concern over arrests of foreigners by China, Iran, Russia and North Korea
The declaration has been led by Canada, which has been caught in a protracted diplomatic battle with China over the jailing of two Canadian citizens, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and consultant Michael Spavor.
China has made it clear the move is in retaliation for the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver in 2018.
The United States has accused Ms Meng of flouting US sanctions on Iran.