Meng Wanzhou’s extradition to the United States has clearly touched a nerve for Beijing. Although Huawei keeps chanting the mantra that it is not tied to the Chinese government, Beijing’s violent reactions however are indicative otherwise.
Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland made it lucidly clear in her dismissal of a suggestion that Ottawa block the extradition of Huawei’s CFO to the United States.
Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Meng Wanzhou, was arrested on U.S. fraud charges in Vancouver in December 2018. She is set to challenge Washington’s extradition request at hearings which will begin in January 2020.
Following Wanzhou’s arrest, China detained two Canadians on charges of spying. Beijing has also blocked the imports of Canadian canola seed; Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated, China could react angrily even more in the near future.
According to a report that appeared in the Globe and Mail newspaper on Thursday, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien had floated the idea of the government intervening to stop the extradition case and thereby improve ties with Beijing.
“When it comes to Ms Meng there has been no political interference … and that is the right way for extradition requests to proceed,” said Freeland to a televised news conference in Washington.
“It would be a very dangerous precedent indeed for Canada to alter its behavior when it comes to honoring an extradition treaty in response to external pressure,” she said which adding that doing so could make Canadians around the world less safe.
According to Canadian officials, they see no prospect of relations with China improving until Meng’s future is resolved.
Last week, Trudeau had said, he would look at whether it was “appropriate or desirable” to seek a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Japan later this month.
Trudeau plans on visiting Washington on June 20 for talks which will address the case of the two detained Canadians.