China warned both the US and Canada of a response against any request to extradite Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou.
On January 22nd, China warned that it will take action against the United States and Canada if Washington goes ahead with a demand for the extradition of Meng.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the warning after Canada’s ambassador to the US said Washington plans to proceed with a formal request to extradite Huawei chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou.
“China will take action in response to measures taken by the US,” Hua said in a press briefing, according to the SCMP.
“Everyone has to be held responsible for their own actions. Both the US and Canada should be aware of the seriousness of the case and take steps to rectify the mistake.”
During her remarks on January 16th, Hao called the detention of Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities “by no means for the sake of judicial justice but an abuse of judicial procedures.”
She further claimed that “the Canadian side has to bear all the severe consequences and responsibilities for its wrongdoing. We hope that the Canadian side will realize its mistake and immediately correct it, and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou who has been unjustifiably detained.”
Canadian ambassador to the US David MacNaughton spoke with Canadian outlet Globe and Mail. In his interview he said that he had met with senior White House and US State Department officials about the Meng case several times.
According to reports, the US will file an extradition request on allegations of banking fraud related to violations of US sanctions against Iran.
MacNaughton was cited as saying that he had conveyed Canada’s “anger and resentment” to Washington regarding the dispute that came as a result of Meng’s arrest.
Beijing has since detained two Canadians and imposed a death penalty on a third Canadian convicted of drugs smuggling charges.
“We do not like that it is our citizens who are being punished. The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are,” the Canadian ambassador said.
MacNaughton also said that the American side “appreciated Ottawa’s statement that it would honour the extradition treaty and had told him they would continue to press Chinese authorities for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – the two Canadians detained by Beijing on grounds of ‘endangering national security.’”
On January 16th, Hua Chunying commented on Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claims that the decision to sentence Canadian defendant Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death was of extreme concern to Canada.
She also said that the Canadian side believed that China has chosen to arbitrarily apply the death penalty.
“The Canadian side accused China of “arbitrarily” applying the death penalty, and this could not be further from the truth. Before saying these words, has he read through the information released by the Dalian Intermediate People’s Court on this case? Has he studied relevant Chinese laws?,” Hua said.
Meng Wenzhou is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. She is accused of defrauding banks to circumvent US sanctions on Iran. Her next court appearance will be on February 6, to set the date for her extradition hearing.
Once the US submits its formal extradition request officials from the Canadian Department of Justice will have 30 days to decide whether to greenlight it.
Meng has the right to appeal against extradition and can apply for a judicial review of the minister’s decision.
Huawei released a statement saying that the company was aware of the report regarding Meng Wanzhou and was closely monitoring the situation.
“Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, US, and EU,” the statement said. “We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion.”
In a press briefing on January 19th, Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye also commented on the issue. Saying that regretfully the situation has strongly impacted Chinese-Canadian relations and it is possible that it would spill into other areas of interest.