Canada cited as ‘accomplice’ to US suppression
Meng Wanzhou. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
VANCOUVER — China has expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to a Canadian decision on Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
A Canadian justice at British Columbia’s Superior Court ruled on May 27 that the extradition case against Meng can proceed. According to the ruling, the case of Meng meets the Canadian extradition standard of so-called “double criminality”.
Meng is currently detained in Canada following a request by the United States. She was arrested at Vancouver International Airport by Canadian authorities at the request of the US on Dec 1, 2018, and has been held under house arrest since then.
The Chinese embassy in Ottawa is firm against the Canadian moves and has made serious representations with Canada.
“The Meng Wanzhou incident is not just a judicial case, but the US using state power to work with its certain ally to suppress a private high-tech Chinese enterprise on unwarranted charges. This is a typical bullying behavior,” a spokesperson for the embassy said on May 23 before the hearing.
Huawei Technologies Co expressed disappointment over the court’s ruling over Meng and the company said it will continue to stand with Meng in her pursuit of justice and freedom.
The company released a statement saying “Huawei is disappointed in the ruling today by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. We have repeatedly expressed confidence in Meng’s innocence.”
Huawei said, “We expect Canada’s judicial system will ultimately prove Meng’s innocence. Meng’s lawyers will continue to work tirelessly to see justice is served.”
Analysts and officials have pointed out that Canada is an “accomplice” to United States manouvers to bring down Huawei and Chinese high-tech companies.
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on May 27 urged Canada to immediately correct its mistake, release Meng and ensure her safe return to China.
The US and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily took compulsory measures against a Chinese citizen without cause, Zhao said.
The Chinese government is steadfast in safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens, Zhao said. “The Canadian side should immediately correct its mistake, release Meng and ensure her safe return to China at an early date, so as to avoid any continuous harm to China-Canada relations.”
Yet the ruling is paving the way for the extradition hearing to proceed to the second phase starting June, examining whether Canadian officials followed the law while arresting Meng.
Closing arguments are expected in the last week of September and first week of October.
The US Department of Justice thanked Canada for its continued assistance. Canada’s justice ministry said its lawyers were committed to moving ahead as fast as possible.
Reid Weingarten, a US lawyer for Meng, said Meng should “not be a pawn or a hostage” in the US-China relationship, which is deteriorating amid disputes over trade and other issues as the US shifts to take China as a strategic competitor.
“Today’s ruling in Canada is only the opening salvo in a very long process ... we are confident that ultimately justice will be done,” Weingarten said on May 27.
Shortly after the ruling was released, Meng, 48, arrived at the courthouse for an in-person briefing and left without briefing the media.
Meng says she is innocent.
Agencies contributed to the report.
HONG KONG NEWS