Published: Wed, May 27, 2020

China urges Canada to immediately release Meng Wanzhou

China urges Canada to immediately release Meng Wanzhou

Media and security outside Meng Wanzhou's house Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

She has been out on bail but under house arrest in Vancouver, where she owns property, since shortly after she was detained in December 2018.

Shortly after Meng's arrest in 2018, Trump told Reuters he would "certainly intervene" in Meng's case if he "thought it was necessary" to help forge a trade deal with China.

Whether she goes free or continues her battle against USA extradition, the ruling is likely to further escalate the fight between Washington and Beijing, increasingly at loggerheads over everything from the coronavirus pandemic to the status of Taiwan and Hong Kong to trade and investment.

Otherwise, Meng's case would continue on to a second phase in June, followed by more hearings in September.

Wednesday's decision will determine whether the crime Meng is accused of committing is also illegal in Canada, which could prompt fresh rounds of legal arguments - including ones regarding the lawfulness of her December arrest. Ms Meng has avenues to appeal throughout the process and some extradition cases have dragged on for years. In contrast, Meng was photographed by CBC News on Saturday as she posed with almost a dozen colleagues and friends - social distancing rules to fight the virus notwithstanding - displaying victory signs in front of the courthouse.

Since being released on $10-million bail in December 2018, she has served house arrest in her Vancouver west side home, wearing a Global Positioning System ankle bracelet. He said the rights of Kovrig and Spavor had been "guaranteed and protected".

The arrests of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor nine days after Meng was taken into custody have been widely decried as retribution.

Many Canadians' perspectives on China have likely shifted amid stories of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, interference in Hong Kong and the treatment of the two Canadian detainees, he said. China also blocked some agricultural imports from Canada.

Authorities allege that Meng lied to the HSBC bank about Huawei's relationship with its Iran-based affiliate Skycom, putting the bank at risk of violating United States sanctions.

She and Huawei deny the charges.

"Lying to a bank to obtain financial services is fraud", he said. Her defence has argued that the USA case is, in reality, a sanctions-violations complaint framed as fraud.

China's foreign ministry urged Meng's release at a regular briefing in Beijing on Tuesday, saying the United States and Canada had "abused their bilateral agreement on extradition".

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a regular press conference and noted Meng's case is a serious political incident. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calls their continued detention "arbitrary".

"China doesn't work quite the same way, and [doesn't] seem to understand that we do", he said last week.

A United States indictment unsealed in NY in February, meanwhile, further alleged Huawei and its proxies conspired "to misappropriate intellectual property" from six U.S. firms as part of a strategy to grow and become the world's largest telecom equipment maker.

Huawei wants to build a 5G cellphone network in Canada but the decision to allow it has been postponed.

The decision could set into motion a firestorm of political blowback for Canada.

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