China warns Canada and US to drop charges against Huawei exec

Canada now has one month to respond to the US request to extradite Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, to face criminal charges, with China warning both parties to halt all proceedings.

China’s foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, told reporters in Beijing that “China is highly concerned” and that the US should cease its pursuit of executive Meng and that Canada was being used by the US in its campaign of “bashing” Huawei.

Geng told Canada to take seriously “China’s solemn position”, demanding Meng’s release and to “stop risking its own interests for the benefits of the US”.

Departmental spokesperson for Canada’s Department of Justice, Christian Girouard, said they had received the United States’ formal documents and request for extradition last Monday.

The US unveiled 23 charges against Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications company, including several individually against executive Meng, accusing the company of obstruction of justice, technology theft, bank fraud and money laundering.

The US has personally charged Meng with “bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud” for an apparent deliberate effort to mislead Huawei’s banking partners about the company’s operations in Iran, in order to evade US and international sanctions.

Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, who is close to China’s ruling communist party and President Xi Jinping. John McCallum, Canada’s former ambassador, said Xi is “very angry” about her arrest.

Canadian officials now have 30 days to review the American request, and to decide whether to issue an ‘authority to proceed’ to bring it before a Canadian court.