Huawei executive leaves Canada, two Canadians released in China

Huawei executive leaves Canada, two Canadians released in China

With the two releases announced, three years of legal battle and strong economic and political tensions between Beijing, Washington and Ottawa should subside.

It’s a three-year judicial political saga coming to a close: The CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was able to leave Canada for China on Friday thanks to an agreement with the United States, while two Canadians were. Those detained in China since the end of 2018 were on a plane to return home.

Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the president of Huawei, Arrested on December 1, 2018 at Vancouver Airport at Washington’s request, who wanted to try her for bank fraud. after a short time, Two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, have been arrested in China for espionage, causing an unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing. Canada considered their detention a measure of retaliation.

‘Terrible ordeal’

On Friday, Meng Wanzhou, under house arrest in Vancouver for nearly three years, boarded a plane bound for Shenzhen. She had just regained her freedom and escaped extradition to the United States, who wanted her to be tried for bank fraud. Over the past three years, my life has been turned upside down, said Meng and Hanzhou earlier, who always denied the charges and pleaded “not guilty” on Friday. As for the “Michaels”, as they are called in their country, it was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who announced to the press the end of their detention.

“Twelve minutes ago, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor left Chinese airspace, on their way home,” he said, without wanting to give details of the circumstances of their release, because “it was an ongoing process.” These two men went through a horrific ordeal for over 1,000 days. They have shown determination, grace and resilience at every step and are an inspiration to all of us,” he said, adding that they are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken quickly praised the Chinese authorities’ decision to release the two Canadians after their “arbitrary” detention.

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“false data”

Meng and Hanzhou’s departure to China is the implementation of an astonishing agreement announced Friday by a New York court between the Department of Justice and the tyrannical China Telecom. During a hearing, Justice Department representative David Kessler proposed a “postponement” until December 1, 2022, of the “proceedings” initiated since the end of 2018 against Meng Wanzhou, in particular for “conspiracy” to commit “bank fraud”. The agreement, which was approved by the federal court in Brooklyn and called “serious” in the early afternoon, also stipulated that Washington recommend Ottawa to “release” Ms Meng and de facto drop any extradition request.

A US judiciary has charged the Chinese telecom giant’s number two man with lying to an HSBC bank executive during a meeting in Hong Kong in 2013, about links between the Chinese group and a subsidiary called Skycom that sold equipment to Iran, exposing the institution. to US sanctions. According to the Department of Justice, Meng admitted, under the terms of the agreement, that she at the time made “false statements” and “withheld the truth” from the HSBC CEO about “Huawei’s activities in Iran,” a country subject to US and international sanctions. If the legal deal is not challenged or broken by December 1, 2022 (four years after the CFO’s arrest), the lawsuits will be permanently dropped, according to Washington.

strong tensions

With the two releases announced, three years of legal battle and strong economic and political tensions between Beijing, Washington and Ottawa should subside. The Chinese government estimated since 2018 that the US administration – at the time of President Donald Trump – was seeking above all to weaken Huawei, the advanced Chinese company and the world leader in 5G equipment and networks, unparalleled from the American side.

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In recent weeks, Meng Whanzhou’s lawyers have again argued that the United States has filed an “abusive” lawsuit against their client. The deal also comes a week after a stunning announcement by the US, Australia and the UK to supply nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra. Huge decade angered China, which considers it a hostile act of Western countries.

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