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China calls on Canada to free Huawei CFO or face consequences

Reuters  |  BEIJING/OTTAWA 

By and David Ljunggren

BEIJING/OTTAWA (Reuters) - warned on Saturday that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's chief financial officer, calling the case "extremely nasty."

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's global chief financial officer, was arrested in on Dec. 1 and 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 despite sanctions.

The is the daughter of the of Huawei.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions, a heard on Friday, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge.

No decision was reached at the extradition hearing after nearly six hours of arguments and counter-arguments, and the hearing was adjourned until Monday.

In a short statement, said that Vice Foreign had issued the warning to release Meng to Canada's in Beijing, summoning him to lodge a "strong protest."

Adam Austen, a for Canadian Foreign Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday there is "nothing to add beyond what the said yesterday".

told reporters on Friday that relationship with is important and valued, and Canada's in has assured Chinese that consular access will be provided to Meng.

When asked about the possible Chinese backlash after the arrest of Huawei's CFO, told reporters on Friday that has a very good relationship with

Canada's arrest of Meng at the request of the while she was changing plane in was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said.

The move "ignored the law, was unreasonable" and was in its very nature "extremely nasty," he added.

"strongly urges the Canadian side to immediately release the detained person, and earnestly protect their lawful, legitimate rights, otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused."

The statement did not elaborate.

"There will probably be a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges," David Mulroney, former Canadian to China, said on Friday.

"The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the ice box for a while. But we're going to have to live with that. That's the price of dealing with a country like China."

Meng's arrest was on the same day that U.S. met in with China's Xi Jinping to look for ways to resolve an escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies.

"We are tracking the developments of this case and refer you to the filings in the of British Columbia," said a U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The of Meng's arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Trump and his top economic advisers have played down its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.

A Huawei said on Friday the company has "every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. will reach the right conclusion." The company has said it complies with all applicable export control and sanctions laws and other regulations.

(Reporting by in and David in Ottawa; Editing by and Nick Zieminski)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, December 09 2018. 09:18 IST
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