(Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

China demands Canada release Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver

Chinese officials are demanding Canada release Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver over the weekend.

Chinese officials are demanding that Canada release Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer, who was arrested in Vancouver over the weekend and faces possible extradition to the United States.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Thursday that the Chinese government also wants Canadian officials to reveal the reasoning behind Meng Wanzhou’s arrest Saturday.

He also said Meng’s legal rights must be ensured, adding that neither Canadian nor American officials had so far responded to China’s concerns.

The comments come after China’s embassy in Ottawa issued a statement Wednesday calling Meng’s arrest a serious violation of human rights.

“(Canada) arrested a Chinese citizen (who did not violate) any Canadian or American law,” the statement said.

“We will closely follow the development of the issue and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”

Meanwhile, a clerk at the B.C. Supreme Court said Meng appeared in court Wednesday and a bail hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Canadian Justice Department spokesman Ian McLeod said the U.S. is seeking Meng’s extradition, but couldn’t provide further details about the case because a publication ban is in effect at Meng’s request.

Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained “on behalf of the United States of America” to face “unspecified charges” in New York, Huawei said in a statement.

“The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng,” the statement said. “The company believes the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will ultimately reach a just conclusion.”

In April, China appealed to Washington to avoid damaging business confidence following a Wall Street Journal report that U.S. authorities were allegedly investigating whether Huawei violated sanctions on Iran amid spiralling technology tensions.

That same month, Washington barred Huawei rival ZTE Corp. from exporting U.S. technology in a separate case over exports to Iran and North Korea.

In its statement Wednesday, Huawei said the company complies with all laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, including applicable export control, sanction laws and regulations of the United Nations, the United States and the European Union.

Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns. Under U.S. President Donald Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, Washington has pressured European countries and other allies to limit the use of its technology.

The U.S. sees Huawei and smaller Chinese tech suppliers as possible fronts for Chinese spying and as commercial competitors. The Trump administration says they benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said U.S. and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

“That’s something we should be watching out for. It’s a possibility. China plays rough,” Mulroney told The Associated Press. “It’s a prominent member of their society and it’s a company that really embodies China’s quest for global recognition as a technology power.”

Mulroney said Canada should be prepared for “sustained fury” from the Chinese and said it will be portrayed in China as Canada kowtowing to Trump. He also said the Iran allegations are very damaging to Huawei and said China will push back hard.

U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, a Republican member of the Senate armed services and banking committees, applauded Canada for the arrest.

“Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for (allegedly) breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran,” he said.

Meng is a prominent member of Chinese society as deputy chairwoman of the Huawei board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei.

Read more: Got $1,100? Apple shows off its most expensive iPhone yet

Read more: 5G plans under wraps in Canada, but U.S. race heats up

— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thieves caught in the act at Aldergrove go-cart track

Three weeks ago, the Langley Quarter Midget Association decided to upgrade security after a theft

What can people still do outside during COVID-19?

A list of ideas that can still be done in order to get a little exercise and fresh air

A call for donations to fight COVID-19 in Langley and elsewhere

B.C. hasn’t run out of protective gear, but supplies are getting low

Memorial bench for Langley teen who died in park

Carson Crimeni is remembered with an anti-bullying message

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Most Read