Canada’s China Ambassador Says He ‘Misspoke’ on Politics of Huawei Case

Jan 27, 2019, 01:12
Canada’s China Ambassador Says He ‘Misspoke’ on Politics of Huawei Case

Canada's Immigration Minister John McCallum speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada October 31, 2016.

McCallum's comments raised concerns over political interference in the case, as McCallum even outlined specific arguments Meng could make to prevent her extradition.

"With respect to Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's Chief Financial Officer, Canada is conducting a fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding".

McCallum also raised the possibility that the USA could strike a deal with China to drop the extradition. And three, there's the issue of Iran sanctions, which are involved in her case, and Canada does not sign on to these Iran sanctions.

Last month, after Trump's musing in a Reuters interview about intervening in the Meng case, Freeland travelled to Washington where she said such comments could prove useful to her defence.

McCallum told a group of Chinese reporters on Tuesday that there are strong legal arguments Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou could make to help her avoid extradition to the United States.

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Meng is next due in court on February 6 in Vancouver. McCallum said the first date of her extradition hearing will be in March but the actual hearings will be some time after that.

Huawei is under intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese government and US-led allegations that its equipment could be used by Beijing for spying.

Hua's remarks came after more than 100 academics and former diplomats signed a letter calling on China to release two Canadians detained in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest. China insists that Meng hasn't done anything wrong and has threatened serious repercussions against Canada if she is not released.

On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was committed to making sure "that the rule of law is properly and fully followed", adding that would include the opportunity for Meng "to mount a strong defense". Maybe it's because Huawei is a national flagship company of China.

Meng sits on the board of a Huawei partner company called Skycom Tech that United States and Canadian authorities have accused of doing business with Iran. "So I think she has some strong arguments that she can make before a judge", he said.

Guy Saint-Jacques, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said McCallum's statement does not represent the views of the government.

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Trudeau told reporters in Quispamsis, N.B. that his government's focus is on getting detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor home safely from China and ensuring their rights are respected.

Experts said that while McCallum's remarks might have been controversial on the surface, the substance of his legal analysis was not far off the mark.

McCallum's comments to Chinese-language media raise the prospect of Meng's lawyers arguing that the USA government has politicized the case to a new level.

Hua said China demands that the USA withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng and "not make a formal extradition request to the Canadian side".

The government's Siemens and Nokia commitments will be made through a federal program known as the strategic innovation fund.

Earlier in the week, Canada's ambassador to Washington, David MacNaughton, told The Globe and Mail that Canada had voiced anger and resentment to the United States at being caught in the middle, with its citizens suffering for US actions. China "would have the capacity to ask and demand from Huawei assistance in collecting intelligence, and the Chinese are big collectors".

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