US officials have confirmed on Tuesday that they plan to pursue the extradition of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the US, according to a Reuters report.
Meng has been facing extradition to the US on suspicion that she violated US sanctions against Iran. Both she and the company have denied those allegations.
The US Department of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday they will file an extradition request by the January 30th deadline. Meng was released on bail last month and is due to make an appearance in court in Vancouver on February 6th.
“We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US -Canada Extradition Treaty,” Justice Department spokesman, Marc Raimondi, was quoted as saying in the report.
“We greatly appreciate Canada’s continuing support of our mutual efforts to enforce the rule of law,” he added.
According to Reuters, Huawei chairman, Liang Hua, told reports at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday that the company is following the issue closely and is seeking a quick resolution of the case regarding its detained executive. However, the company said, it hasn’t had any direct contact with US authorities.
“We are following this issue closely but haven’t had direct contact with the authorities. We will call for a quick conclusion for Ms. Meng so that Ms. Meng can have her personal freedom,” chairman Liang Hua told media on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
Canada has not asked the US to withdraw its bid to have Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou extradited, foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, told Bloomberg TV in an interview. The case comes amid fears the Chinese tech company could be using its equipment to spy on behalf of the Chinese government.
Huawei says that such allegations are unproven.
Chinese Daily, an English-language daily newspaper in China, said that Canada was helping the US limit and “contain” Chinas hi-tech ambitions.
“If Canada does continue to do what is required of it by the US, it will certainly see its relations with China, including its trade relations, further deteriorate, since it has the choice not to carry out the extradition of Meng on what are trumped-up charges,” the newspaper said.
Canadian arrests in China
The newspaper said that there were no connections between Meng’s arrest and the arrest of two Canadians in China.
Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat, and Michael Spavor, a consultant, were both detained in China after Ms. Meng’s arrest in December. A third Canadian citizen in China was also convicted and sentenced to death following the arrest of Huawei’s executive.
According to Reuters, foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said on Tuesday that China would respond if Meng was extradited.
In an article published on Monday, Richard Fadden, a former Canadian security intelligence spy chief, said that Canada should ban Huawei from supplying equipment to Canadian 5G Networks.
His comment comes after China’s ambassador last week threatened repercussions if Ottawa decided to block Huawei.
“Canada’s government should ignore the threats and ban Huawei from Canada’s 5G networks to protect the security of Canadians,” he wrote in the Globe and Mail.
Germany and the UK are also considering banning Huawei from providing 5G equipment in the country.