OTTAWA : Setting the stage for a direct conflict between US and China, the Canadian government said on Friday that it would allow an extradition hearing to proceed against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd who was detained in Canada late last year.
Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested last December at the request of the US, which has accused her of fraud linked to violating sanctions on Iran. Meng Wanzhou, who is currently on bail in Vancouver will appear in court on Wednesday, March 6 when a date for her extradition hearing will be set.
Canadian Department of Justice Officials in a statement said that there is sufficient evidence to be put before an extradition judge for decision. Ultimately, Canada's justice minister must decide if she is extradited.
Appreciating Canadian government for their decision, US Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas Oxman said: "We greatly appreciate Canada's steadfast commitment to the rule of law."
But members of Meng’s defense team expressed “disappointment” over the Canadian government’s decision. They also included a reference to Trump’s comments: “The President of the United States has repeatedly stated that he would interfere in Ms. Meng’s case if he thought it would assist the U.S. negotiations with China over a trade deal.”
The standoff over Meng comes as the Trump administration is engaged in trade negotiations with Beijing and Trump has indicated that the US could cut a deal with China — a suggestion that could ultimately play a role in Meng’s extradition case.
Friday’s announcement from Canadian authorities means a deal is less likely and the United States will indeed seek to bring Meng stateside to face charges. Eventually, that could bring the United States and China into direct conflict. (With agency input)