Meng's extradition a ‘political prosecution,' vex business community
Updated 22:57, 24-Jan-2019
The Point

‍In a regrettable manner, the U.S. now goes ahead with its political offense against a Chinese telecoms giant by asking Canada to extradite the company's executive, putting Beijing's ties with Ottawa and Washington at stake.

The U.S. is set to formally proceed with the extradition of Meng Wangzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, just days before a deadline that it had to file for the request, according to David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the United States.

Meng was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver at the request of the U.S. for violating unilateral U.S. sanctions against Iran and then released on bail on December 12.

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“What the U.S. has been doing against Huawei is the political prosecution of a commercial company, an innocent person,” said Victor Gao, a global councilor at Asia Society, at CGTN's The Point (@thepointwithlx).

“To rise up to such a political level, they see Huawei as a devil,” Gao continued, referring to the company in reality as an outstanding provider in the 5G-tech industry.

China on Tuesday said that Canada and the U.S. have violated a Chinese citizen's legitimate rights, calling the incident an “abuse of extradition treaties between the U.S. and Canada.”

“We urge the Canadian side to immediately release Ms. Meng Wanzhou and earnestly safeguard her legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” said Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson. “We also strongly urge the U.S. to immediately correct its mistake and cancel the extradition order for Ms. Meng.”

“The [trilateral] relations will suffer more and be poisoned” if Canada extradites Meng and the U.S. keeps her in custody, Gao added.

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However, a lengthy process before such potential may reach six months or more, Harvey Dzodin at Center for China and Globalization noted, saying China is being economically encircled as U.S. security call is spreading to its allies against Huawei.

“They are going after the crown jewel, making a point against this company and using it as a kind of stalking horse for many other Chinese companies and China itself,” he said.

Huawei has repeatedly stated that its overseas operations comply with laws and regulations, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, the United States, and the EU.

Earlier in an exclusive interview with Chinese media, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, also Meng's father, dismissed spying accusation against his company, saying that he wasn't worried about some countries' restrictions and bans on the company.

“If they don't buy it, it's their loss,” Ren said. “We have many things that, in the end, Europe and the U.S. won't be able to avoid buying.”

Gao also warned that the U.S. behavior could threaten the business community.

“If the U.S. can do this to Huawei, other countries can do similar things to American companies,” he said. “This will be really tearing the business community apart.”

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