Chinese Diplomat Condemns Canada Over Detention of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou

  • China’s top Canadian diplomat urged Ottawa to make the “correct decision” to release Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
  • In a phone call with Meng, he told her that “any attempt to bully or oppress the Chinese people will inevitably be hit hard.” 
  • Meng is awaiting the verdict on her extradition trial, which could take months after marathon hearings wrapped up last Wednesday.

Chinese Ambassador to Canada Cong Peiwu blasted Ottawa on Wednesday for its detention of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, urging the country to make the “correct decision,” as marathon hearings over her extradition charges wrapped up last Wednesday.  

In a phone call with Meng — who’s also the daughter of Huawei billionaire founder Ren Zhengfei — Cong said Canada should face its “serious mistakes” and acknowledge the “political nature” of the incident. Cong urged Canada to make the “correct decision” to release Meng as soon as possible, according to a statement released by Chinese Embassy in Canada

Cong went on to tell Meng that “any attempt to bully or oppress the Chinese people will inevitably be hit hard.”

“The Chinese government resolutely safeguards the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and enterprises,” he added. 

August 26  marks a thousand days since Meng was detained by Canadian authorities at the Vancouver International Airport in December 2018 at the behest of the United States, reported CNN. US authorities have charged Meng with bank fraud.

The charges stem from a meeting Meng had with a senior HSBC executive on August 22, 2013. She is suspected of violating US trade sanctions on Iran by failing to disclose Huawei’s control over a company called Skycom, which sold equipment to Iran, in order to get the bank to process the company’s financial transactions. Both Meng and Huawei have denied the accusations. 

The arrest ramped up diplomatic tensions between the two countries. Days after Meng was arrested, the Chinese government detained two Canadians in Beijing — Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig— on espionage charges. Spavor was sentenced to 11 years by a Chinese court earlier this month, reported The Guardian.

Meng’s trial to determine whether she is extradited to the US came to a close on August 19, but it may be months before a decision is made. Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes adjourned the hearing and said she would announce a date for her ruling on October 21, CNBC reported. 

If the extradition goes through, and the 49-year-old is transferred to the US to stand trial, she could face more than 30 years in prison if convicted, according to AFP

Huawei told Insider it does not have a comment for now, but reiterated from a previous statement that “from the start, Huawei has been confident in Ms. Meng’s innocence and has trusted the Canadian judicial system,” adding “Huawei has been supporting Ms. Meng’s pursuit of justice and freedom. We continue to do so today.”

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