Huawei’s global CFO and the daughter of the founder of Huawei was arrested in Canada on December 1, and faces the possibility of extradition to the United States due to fraud charges.
The United States has long suspected Huawei of being involved in unethical business practices including the possibility of using spyware technology in their popular line of smartphones.
Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou allegedly covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite U.S. sanctions.
If extradited, she will be charged with conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions and with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.
China’s Foreign Ministry said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng already issued a strong warning to release Meng to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, who was instructed to lodge an official protest.
China warned Canada that if they do not release Meng Wanzhou, there would be severe consequences:
“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.”
Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday there is “nothing to add beyond what the Minister said yesterday”.
Meng was arrested in Canada while in the process of changing planes. According to Le, the arrest of Meng was Canada’s response to a request from the United States and was therefore a serious breach of her lawful rights.
Le added that the arrest “ignored the law, was unreasonable” and was in its very nature “extremely nasty”.
David Mulroney, former Canadian ambassador to China, said on Friday, “There will probably be a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges,”
“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.”
Meng’s arrest comes on the heels of U.S- China trade war ceasefire. Trump administration officials have played down its relevance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.