Book Talk – Fen Hampson and Mike Blanchfield, The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the US-China Cyber War


Friday, April 8, 2022


12:00 PM


1:30 PM
Play Video


In December 2018, Canadian authorities arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou on a U.S. warrant seeking her extradition. China subsequently arrested two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, on espionage charges. Meng and the “Two Michaels” became the focus of intense diplomacy in one of the first conflicts arising from the Trump administration’s assertive China strategy. To explore this case in soft and hard power dynamics, the SAIS Center for Canadian Studies and China Global Research Center welcomed authors Fen Hampson and Mike Blanchfield, whose 2021 book, The Two Michaels: Innocent Canadian Captives and High Stakes Espionage in the U.S.-China Cyber War (Sutherland House Press, 2021) explores the story through interviews with Canadian officials

Event Guests

Mike Blanchfield

International Affairs Writer for The Canadian Press (Ottawa)

Mike Blanchfield is the international affairs writer for The Canadian Press based in Ottawa. Blanchfield has been a journalist on Parliament Hill since 1998. His reporting has taken him across the world, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was the winner of the 2013 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship and travelled to Laos to investigate the deadly legacy of cluster bombs. He worked at the Ottawa Citizen for 22 years to 2009, and covered courts and police for eight years. He has graduated Carleton University twice, with his B.J. (hons) in 1987 and his M.J. in 2015. Blanchfield is the author of Swingback and co-author of The Two Michaels with Fen Osler Hampson.

Fen Hampson

Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of International Affairs

Fen Osler Hampson is a former Director of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) (2000-2012). He is currently Chancellor’s Professor and Professor of International Affairs in the School. Professor Hampson served as Director of the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) and is the President of the World Refugee & Migration Council.

Professor Hampson holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University where he also received his A.M. degree (both with distinction). He also holds an MSc. (Econ.) degree (with distinction) from the London School of Economics and a B.A. (Hon.) from the University of Toronto. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, he is the author or co-author of 14 books and editor or co-editor of 30 other volumes. In addition, he has written more than 100 articles and book chapters on international affairs. His most recent books are Braver Canada: Shaping Our Destiny in a Precarious World (co-author), the Routledge Handbook of Peace, Security and Development (co-editor), Diplomacy and the Future of World Order (co-author), and Master of Persuasion: Brian Mulroney’s Global Legacy.

He is the recipient of several major awards, including a Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association, a research and writing award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and a Jennings Randolph Peace Fellowship from the United States Institute of Peace. He was recognized as one of the top 50 people influencing Canada’s foreign policy by Embassy Magazine in 2009 and one of the top 80 in 2012 in a list that includes Cabinet ministers, senior public officials, lobbyists and members of the media; and one of the top 8 “thinkers” category in the Hill Times list of the top 100 people influencing Canadian foreign policy in 2014.