Tensions escalate between China and Canada after Huawei boss arrest

Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, was arrested December 1 at Vancouver International Airport while en route to Mexico and is being sought for extradition to the USA on allegations of fraud.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's deputy chairwoman and CFO, is wanted by the USA for allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran.

Over the weekend, China summoned both the Canadian and USA ambassador to protest Meng's detention.

Meng Wanzhou, 46, was arrested in Vancouver, Canada at the request of United States prosecutors on December 1, the same day Trump dined with Xi on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Buenos Aires. The U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.

China's vice-foreign minister, Le Yicheng, reportedly said Canada should release Wanzhou immediately or face "grave consequences that the Canadian side should be held accountable for".

Canada's arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said.

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"No one was injured and no arrests have been made."

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The house in the city's Dunbar neighbourhood is registered to Ms. Meng's husband, Liu Xiaozong, though she has said that they purchased the property together in 2009. A bail hearing began in Vancouver on Friday, and Meng is spending the weekend in jail before it continues next week.


The U.S. alleges that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

Her bail hearing resumes in Vancouver on Monday.

When asked about the possible Chinese backlash after the arrest of Huawei's CFO, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday that Canada has a very good relationship with Beijing.

China has summoned the USA ambassador to protest the detention of an executive of electronics giant Huawei in Canada at Washington's behest. Meng and Huawei are also accused of misleading American banks about its business dealings in Iran.

Canadian officials have declined to comment on Chinese threats of retaliation over the case, instead emphasizing the independence of Canada's judiciary along with the importance of Ottawa's relationship with Beijing.

Meng describes herself as a 46-year old Chinese citizen, holding a Hong Kong and Chinese passport, who lives in Shenzhen. A Huawei spokesman said on Friday the company has "every confidence that the Canadian and USA legal systems will reach the right conclusion".

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday there is "nothing to add beyond what the Minister said yesterday". The party also takes the lead in prosecutions of those accused of corruption or other crimes in a highly opaque process, without supervision from the court system or independent bodies.

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