China summoned the US ambassador on Sunday to protest the "extremely bad" arrest of telecom giant Huawei's chief financial officer in Canada and demand that the United States drop its extradition request.
"The Chinese side firmly opposes this and strongly urges the United States to attach great importance to China's solemn and just position," the foreign ministry said in a statement after Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng called in ambassador Terry Branstad.
Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 on the orders of US authorities for allegedly violating American sanctions on selling technology to Iran.
The minister said US actions have violated the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and are extremely bad in nature,” according to a posting on the ministry website. “China will take further action based on the U.S. actions.”
The move comes a day after Canada’s ambassador to China was also summoned to the ministry. Meng’s arrest, on allegations that she committed fraud to sidestep sanctions against Iran, has become a flash-point in trade tensions between the US and China that’s rattled investors and sent stock markets tumbling.
The US on Friday began a case against the Chinese telecoms giant in a Vancouver courtroom, alleging that Meng had hidden ties between Huawei and a company called Skycom that did business in Iran, said a lawyer representing Canada during the court hearing.
Canada’s presenting the case on behalf of the U.S., which wants to extradite Meng.
Meng, 46, daughter of Huawei’s founder, is spending the weekend in jail after a decision on whether to grant bail was not reached. The case will continue on Monday.
(With inputs from Bloomberg and AFP)