B.C. trade mission to end trip early, foregoing China visit, amid Huawei CFO arrest
The detention of a top Huawei executive in Canada has derailed British Columbia’s trade mission to China.
The delegation led by B.C. Forestry Minister Doug Donaldson will no longer be stopping in China, and will instead end its trip after a visit to Japan.
The province says in a statement the decision was made because of the ongoing judicial process involving Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested last week while changing flights in Vancouver.
The United States is seeking to have Meng extradited on allegations that she tried to evade American trade sanctions on Iran.
A bail hearing began in Vancouver on Friday, and Meng is spending the weekend in jail before it continues next week.
The Chinese government has warned Canada that if Meng is not released, the country will face “grave consequences.”
A report by the official Xinhua News Agency carried on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng called in Canadian Ambassador John McCallum on Saturday over Meng’s detention.
Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies and has been the target of deepening U.S. security concerns over its ties to the Chinese government. The U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit use of its technology, warning they could be opening themselves up to surveillance and theft of information.
WATCH: Robert Lighthizer says Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou’s arrest is ‘a criminal justice matter’
Le told McCallum that Meng’s detention at the request of the United States was a “severe violation” of her “legitimate rights and interests.”
“Such a move ignores the law and is unreasonable, unconscionable, and vile in nature,” Le said in the statement.
“China strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained Huawei executive … or face grave consequences that the Canadian side should be held accountable for,” Le said.
© 2018 The Canadian Press