A Canadian couple are being investigated in China on suspicion of “collecting and stealing intelligence materials” according to Beijing’s Foreign Ministry.
The official Xinhua news agency has identified the two as Kevin Garratt and his wife Julia Dawn Garratt and said the State Security Bureau of Dandong city in northeastern China was investigating the case.
The couple are reported to own a coffee shop that has a view of the Friendship Bridge over the Yalu River, which divides China and North Korea.
Beijing is especially sensitive about its relationship with North Korea.
China’s state secrets law is notoriously broad and includes everything from industry data to the date of birth of state leaders.
In the most severe cases a conviction can lead to lengthy prison sentence or even the death penalty.