Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Beijing, China (4E) – China is threatening Canada with severe consequences if it doesn’t immediately set free the imprisoned chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, Ltd.
Beijing described as “extremely nasty” Ottawa’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, who is also the only child of Huawei found Ren Zhenfei. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 in Vancouver by Canadian authorizes at the behest of the U.S. Department of Juistice.
She is being accused of violating U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran. The American want her extradited to the U.S. to face trial.
If extradited to the US, Meng will face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions. This charge carries with it a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge, according to papers filed with a Canadian court extradition hearing on Dec. 7.
No decision was reached at the extradition hearing after nearly six hours of arguments and counter-arguments. The hearing will resums Monday.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said vice-foreign minister, Le Yucheng issued a warning to Canada to release Meng to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, John McCallum. Le had summoned the ambassador to lodge a “strong protest”
Speaking to McCallum, Le urged Canada to release Meng immediately or face “grave consequences that the Canadian side should be held accountable for.”
Le said Meng’s arrest while she was changing planes in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights. The move “ignored the law, was unreasonable” and was in its very nature “extremely nasty.”
Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland previously said Canada’s relationship with China was important and valued. For his part McCallum assured the Chinese that Meng will receive consular access.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed unconcerned about Chinese vengeance, saying Canada has a very good relationship with China.
“There will probably be a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges,” according to David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China.
“The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the ice box for a while. But we’re going to have to live with that. That’s the price of dealing with a country like China.”
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