‘Detention’ of former Canadian diplomat: Beijing’s retaliation???

BY SILVI WRITER

A judge in Vancouver, Canada, granted a C$10 million (US$7.4 million) bail to Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟), the chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, on Tuesday (local time).

Meng, the eldest daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested on Dec 1 and could be extradited to the US to face fraud charges linked to the alleged violation of sanctions on Iran.

She will be under surveillance 24 hours a day and must wear an electronic ankle tag, according to media reports.

At the three-day bail hearing in Vancouver, her lawyers sought to provide guarantees that she would not pose a flight risk if released. The application was opposed by Canadian prosecutors, according to the BBC.

Applause broke out in the courtroom when Justice William Ehrcke granted bail. Meng cried and hugged her lawyers.

Meng is accused in the US of using a Huawei subsidiary called Skycom to evade sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014.

US prosecutors say she had publicly misrepresented Skycom as being a separate company and deceived banks about the true relationship between the two companies.

Meng has denied any wrongdoing and said she will contest the allegations.

“We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion,” Huawei issued a statement after the ruling.

Her detention has angered China and soured its relations with Canada.

micheal_kovrig
Michael Kovrig

China’s retaliation?

Earlier on Tuesday it emerged that a Canadian former diplomat had been detained in China.

Michael Kovrig‘s current employer, the International Crisis Group, said it was working for his prompt release. There has been no official word from China about his whereabouts.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was in direct contact with Chinese authorities concerning the case.

Kovrig previously worked as a diplomat in Beijing, Hong Kong and at the UN in New York.

Canadian officials said there was no “explicit indication” of any link between Kovrig’s reported detention and the arrest of Meng.

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Hu Xijin

There is no evidence now to show the reported detention was a retaliation by the Chinese government in response to the arrest of Meng, said Hu Xijin (胡锡进), editor-in-chief of Global Times, a popular tabloid newspaper under People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China.

“If people think naturally that China will retaliate, that’s only because the arrest of Meng Wanzhou was truly too far,” he commented on a online post early on Wednesday (Beijing time).

“Now the situation is highly sensitive,” Hu said. “This is all due to the US’s crackdown on Huawei, which is injustice, and the ambush-style arrest of Meng, a conspiracy jointly conducted by the US and Canada.”

 

 

 

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