China’s foreign ministry called on Canada to immediately release Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer on Saturday, warning that otherwise it would face consequences.
The ministry said in a statement that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had issued the warning to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, summoning John McCallum to lodge a “strong protest.”
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1, detained on a U.S. warrant while en route from Hong Kong to Mexico via Canada.
Meng, who is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.
Chinese officials have labelled her arrest as “extremely nasty” and are calling for her immediate release.
On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the Canadian ambassador had briefed the Chinese foreign ministry on developments and he gave assurances that due process is being followed in Canada and that Meng will have consular access.
The U.S. government alleges Huawei used a subsidiary, Skycom, to circumvent U.S. sanctions against Iran and accuses Meng of deceiving a financial institution she was dealing with.
Her lawyer, David Martin, has called the allegations “preposterous” and says has always been transparent. At a bail hearing on Friday in Vancouver, her lawyers argued that Meng poses no flight risk. The hearing will continue on Monday.
Meng has two multimillion-dollar homes in Vancouver and at one time was a permanent resident of Canada.