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Not arresting Huawei exec to avoid political strife wasn’t an option: Freeland

Was China caught off guard by Canada’s loyalty to rule of law and U.S. in Huawei arrest?
WATCH: Was China caught off guard by Canada’s loyalty to rule of law and U.S. in Huawei arrest?

OTTAWA – Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says cutting corners to avoid arresting a Chinese executive at the request of the Americans simply was not an option to avoid a difficult political situation.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Freeland says that would have eroded Canada’s commitment to the rule of law at a time when it is under threat across the globe.

READ MORE: What’s happened so far in the Canada-China-Huawei spat?

Some business leaders and analysts have suggested Canada should have found a way to circumvent its treaty obligations with the United States under the Extradition Act to avoid the current political turmoil with China and the U.S.

Two Canadians have been detained in Beijing since the Dec. 1 arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, by the RCMP.

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WATCH: Freeland says extradition process in Huawei case must remain apolitical

Extradition process in Huawei case must remain apolitical: Freeland
Extradition process in Huawei case must remain apolitical: Freeland

Freeland says it is important that John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, has been able to meet with entrepreneur Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who is on a leave of absence from Global Affairs.

READ MORE: Canada’s ambassador to China meets with second detained Canadian Michael Spavor

But she says that is only a first-step in providing assistance to them and their families.