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A Sino-Canadian row reared its head on Monday after one of two Canadians jailed by China for nearly three years claimed he was unwittingly used for intelligence gathering and is seeking compensation from Ottawa.

Beijing's 2018 to 2021 detentions of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig had plunged bilateral relations into a deep freeze.

Spavor reportedly now blames Kovrig for their incarceration. Spavor had provided information on North Korea to Kovrig, unaware that it would be shared with Canada and its intelligence partners.

And Spavor is now seeking millions of dollars in compensation from Ottawa, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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