BEIJING – China has warned of serious consequences if Canada does not release Huawei’s chief financial officer, who was arrested last week in Vancouver.
China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Le Yucheng, summoned Canadian Ambassador John McCallum Saturday night to protest Meng Wanzhou’s arrest and urged Ottawa to release her immediately, according to a statement from the foreign ministry.
“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused,” the statement said.
The Chinese foreign ministry described the arrest as an “extremely unpleasant” move that ignored the law that would likely harm bilateral relations.
Meng appeared before a Canadian court on Friday to apply for bail while the Canadian justice decides whether to approve her extradition to the US, where she is accused of fraud for violating economic sanctions Washington imposed on Iran.
During a hearing held at the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Vancouver, the Canadian prosecution opposed the granting of bail on grounds that Meng, 46, and the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was a flight risk.
Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the behest of the US which has requested her extradition.
She had arrived in Vancouver from Hong Kong and was about to board a plane to Mexico at the time of her arrest.
The Canadian prosecution demanded that Meng be kept under arrest until the decision on her extradition since she no longer resides in Canada, although she owns properties in Vancouver and spends several weeks a year in the country.