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China has expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to Huawei CFO ruling.
Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her Vancouver home on May 27, 2020 to appear in British Columbia Supreme Court. Photo: AFP
A Canadian court on Thursday defied widespread expectations and ruled to keep Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in custody, a move China firmly opposes, with Chinese experts saying it shows that Canada has completely surrendered its self-proclaimed judicial and diplomatic independence to US bullying, and foreshadows the “worst-ever” China-Canada ties.
On Thursday, a Canadian judge ruled that the extradition case against Meng can proceed, as the case meets the Canadian extradition standard of so-called “double criminality,” which also means an increasing chance for Meng to be extradited to the US.
China has expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the ruling, urging the country to immediately release the Chinese citizen. “The Chinese government is firmly resolved to protect the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens and companies. We once again urge Canada to take China’s solemn position and concerns seriously, to immediately release Meng and allow her to return safely to China, and not to stray further down the wrong path,” said the Chinese Embassy in Canada, noting that China has made serious representations to Canada.
The US and Canada, by abusing their bilateral extradition treaty and arbitrarily taking forceful measures against Meng, gravely violated the lawful rights and interests of said Chinese citizen, the embassy spokesman said.
“The US’ purpose is to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies, and Canada has been acting in the process as an accomplice of the US,” the embassy said. “The whole case is a grave political incident.”
The “unjustified” ruling, which will mean the continued detention of Meng, has no real impact on Huawei, because the company will not succumb to the US over any individual. But it will make Canada a pathetic clown and a scapegoat in the fight between China and the US, experts said.
Chinese netizens expressed outrage toward the ruling, saying it “harms Canada’s credit and reputation, as the country is siding with the US in trying to crack down on foreign firms through political means disguised as law.”
“The ruling showed that Canada has been the loyal lapdog of the US, which has never changed,” said a netizen named Yizhimiao.
“Does the US regard itself as the world’s police, since Washington utilizes Ottawa to press a company?” asked a netizen named Richangqiufu.
“No good news came after I waited the whole night. The ruling is shameless and Canada should pay for its decision!” netizen Fengpin said.
Huawei told the Global Times on Thursday that the company is disappointed with the ruling by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. “We have repeatedly expressed confidence in Ms. Meng’s innocence. Huawei continues to stand with Ms. Meng in her pursuit of justice and freedom.”
Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities on December 1, 2018 at the behest of the US for allegedly violating unilateral US sanctions, sparking widespread indignation among the Chinese public and officials, and plunging China-Canada ties into turmoil.
Progress in the case has also drawn close attention from the country – not only the central government but also the public – since Meng’s arrest in 2018, and stirred huge sentiment in China.
The ruling will make the bilateral relationship “worse than ever,” He Weiwen, a former senior trade official and an executive council member of the China Society for World Trade Organization Studies, told the Global Times.
Deteriorating bilateral ties will initially be seen in souring trade exchanges, He said. “You can always give some projects or orders to other countries, instead of just one county.”
Mei Xinyu, an expert close to China’s Commerce Ministry, said that Meng will likely stay in Canada for years. “Being kept by the US as a key hostage to contain China’s industrial upgrading and maintain its parasitic hegemony, the US will hardly let Meng free.”
“Canada has been under US pressure since the beginning, or it could have benefited from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies,” Mei said.
Even if the relationship between China and the US improves, Canada could still suffer from strong sentiment from the Chinese public if it makes an “unjustified ruling” on Meng, experts said.
“Nevertheless, the ruling on Meng will not have any impact on Huawei,” Xiang Ligang, a veteran industry analyst and a close follower of Huawei, told the Global Times.
Huawei will not bow to the US over the unjustified detention of any individual, and the Chinese technology giant, which has survived the US’ relentless crackdown, will push forward amid headwinds – like a jet riddled with bullets yet still flying its mission, Xiang said.