Canada is upset at the United States for engaging in a furore with China in how it is handling the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Canadian ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton has told The Globe and Mail that its southern counterpart is in the process of submitting an official request to extradite the executive, who is currently free on bail until her next court date on February 6 in Vancouver.
The two countries have an exradition treaty in place. The United States is required to put in its extradition by January 30. Canada will have up to 30 days to determine if the request is fit to proceed. The primary criterion is if what Washington alleges Meng did would’ve been tried in Canadian court. The Department of Justice is investigating Huawei for trade sanction infractions related to Iran and North Korea. Meng is believed to have defrauded banks in discussing the potential breaches.
At the World Economic Forum, Huawei chairman Liang Hua told reporters that the company has not been involved with the governments, but would like to see “a quick conclusion for Ms. Meng so that Ms. Meng can have her personal freedom.”
Following the publication of Meng’s arrest, China has detained two Canadian nationals — Michael Korvig, a diplomat on leave, and businessman Michael spavor — as national security threats. According to Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, the two men have been interrogated for long periods for days and have been kept in cells lit brightly at all hours of the day, supposedly intended to deprive them of sleep.
Alex Neve, secretary-general for Amnesty International Canada, said that sleep deprivation is a violation of The United Nations Convetion against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
China has also revised the sentence of Canadian national and drug mule convict Robert Schellenberg from 15 years in prison to execution.
Canada has expressed its displeasure with the United States for forcing its northern neighbor to become the battleground in its fight.
“We don’t like that it is our citizens who are being punished,” Mr. MacNaughton told The Globe and Mail. “[The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Ms. Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”
Chinese ministers have claimed that it is rightfully imposing its law upon its jurisdiction and that the Meng’s arrest deprives her of human rights.
China’s ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye, made threats of consequences if Huawei was to be banned from supplying equipment for the nation’s 5G network. A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry retracted the position shortly after, saying that the country does not want to “interfere with relevant decisions made by the Canadian government.”
Multiple governments are considering blocking or have blocked Huawei from 5G network contracts due to concerns that the government could siphon consumer data from networks with Huawei equipment. Canadian networks have deemed Huawei as a viable supply partner, but Ottawa pols are souring on the idea.