Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien was taken to the hospital as a precaution after falling ill in Hong Kong, where he was scheduled to speak on Tuesday at a conference on U.S.-China trade.
Tung Chee-hwa, a former Hong Kong leader, said in opening remarks that Chretien arrived in the financial hub late Monday and was unwell. He gave no further details on his condition. A spokesman for Chretien did not immediately return a request for comment Monday evening in Ottawa.
“As a precaution we have taken him to hospital,” Tung told participants of the conference, hosted by the China United States Exchange Foundation and the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
Chretien is a prominent former prime minister and former head of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party. Chretien has suggested that Canada cancel proceedings to extradite Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the U.S., the Globe and Mail newspaper has reported, in order to improve relations with China and potentially win the release of two Canadians seized by China, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor.
Trudeau’s government has dismissed that, saying it can’t intervene at this stage. Chretien served as Canada’s prime minister from 1993 to 2003.