China appeared plucky on Saturday as it threatened Canada with ‘serious consequences’ should Ottawa fail to ‘immediately’ release the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Ltd, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested following an extradition request by the United States.
The United States alleges Ms Wanzhou, daughter of Ren Zengfei, the founder of Huawei, covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions, and requested she should be sent over for trial.
Huawei says it complies with export regulations and legislation regarding sanctions.
She was arrested in Canada on December 1 as she changed plane in Vancouver. If extradited to the United States, she would face multiple fraud and sanction-breaking charges, up to 30-year sentence for each charge if convicted, a Canadian court in Vancouver heard on Friday as she appeared for her extradition hearing.
The court reached no decision after six hours of crossfire and the proceedings were adjourned until Monday.
Happening amid the trade war between the U.S. and China, Beijing’s vice foreign mister Le Yucheng called the case “extremely nasty” and “unreasonable” as “(it) ignored the law.”
Mr Yucheng, in his statement on Saturday, disclosed that China called for Ms Wanzhou’s immediate release in a warning to Canadian ambassador in Beijing whom he said was summoned to lodge a “strong protest.”
“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused,” read the statement.
The arrest was on the same day that U.S. president Donald Trump met in Argentina with China’s Xi Jinping over ways to resolve an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Reuters reported Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have insisted his country still had a good relationship with China despite the tension over the arrest of the business executive.