Meng Wanzhou. (The Canadian Press)

Case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou returns to Vancouver court this week

Canada’s relationship with Beijing has deteriorated rapidly since the December arrest

The case of Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou, which has drawn interest from around the world, returns to a Vancouver courtroom this week.

Canada’s relationship with Beijing has deteriorated rapidly since the December arrest of the Chinese telecom giant’s chief financial officer, which was carried out after an extradition request by the United States.

A statement from Canada’s Justice Department says the purpose of Thursday’s proceeding is to address additional applications in Meng’s extradition case and to set future court dates.

The new dates will not be for the actual extradition hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, and Meng is not expected to attend Thursday’s proceeding in person, the statement says.

The U.S. Department of Justice laid 13 criminal charges, including conspiracy, fraud and obstruction, against Huawei and Meng, who is the daughter of the company’s founder.

Her arrest has infuriated Chinese officials and the government has demanded her release.

Chinese authorities have since detained two Canadians on allegations of endangering the country’s national security, sentenced two Canadians to death for drug-related convictions and blocked key agricultural shipments — including canola.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sought international support in condemning China’s decision to, in his word, “arbitrarily” arrest Michael Kovrig, a Canadian diplomat on leave, and businessman Michael Spavor.

Last week on a visit to Ottawa, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence linked the liberation of the two imprisoned Canadians to its trade talks with the China.

Pence said President Donald Trump would push Chinese President Xi Jinping on Kovrig and Spavor at the G20 leaders’ summit later this month. Trudeau is also expected to travel to Japan for that summit.

The offer is significant because the Chinese government has continually rebuffed requests from Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to speak with her counterpart.

Pence also urged Ottawa to follow the American lead and ban Huawei from supplying equipment for Canada’s next-generation 5G wireless networks.

He argued letting Huawei participate would be against American security interests. Trudeau replied by reiterating that Canadian government would rely on evidence from its own security agencies before making a decision.

Huawei has denied allegations that its digital communications equipment is a tool of Chinese state espionage.

The decline of Canada-China relations has also led to some important economic consequences.

China has been a huge market for Canadian canola seed, which is crushed to make cooking oil. It imported $2.7 billion worth of Canadian canola seed last year, and any prolonged blockage will hurt farmers, the industry and the national economy.

China has stonewalled requests for Canadian experts to examine Chinese evidence that two canola-seed shipments contained pests.

In an interview last week, International Trade Minister Jim Carr said Canada wants to engage on the issue. In the meantime, Carr said, Canada has been trying to increase canola sales in other markets such as Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.

“The reception has been very warm and very positive because they recognize the high quality of our product,” he said.

Meng’s defence team has said it plans to argue she shouldn’t be extradited to the U.S. because she hasn’t broken Canadian laws and that her arrest at Vancouver’s airport was unlawful.

Her lawyers have alleged Meng was the victim of two “abuses of power,” first by Canadian authorities and then by U.S. President Donald Trump. They intend to make an argument based on “double criminality,” related to different sanction and fraud laws in the U.S. and Canada.

The Extradition Act says that an alleged action would have to be criminal in Canada to justify sending someone to another country to face charges.

READ MORE: China warns Canada of ‘consequences’ of helping U.S. in Huawei case

READ MORE: Huawei pushes ahead with rural internet strategy in Canada despite controversy

Andy Blatchford and Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

LIVE MAP: Results in Canada’s 2019 federal election

Polls are now closed across the country

Federal election saw 66% of registered voters hit the polls across Canada

Roughly 18 million people cast their ballots, voting in a Liberal minority government

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

15 Canadian youths to sue Ottawa for not acting on climate change

They say young people will be more affected than other groups

Alberta’s oilsands carbon liability at centre of closely watched New York fraud lawsuit

Exxon Mobil accused of misrepresenting the risks the operations face as governments move to fight climate change

‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support as Liberals re-elected

The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia

In the news: Wexit, Brexit and Trump sparks outrage

There’s been a surge of support for an Alberta separatist group

Alberta man admits to killing sometimes girlfriend; reported death to police

Clifton James Spotted Eagle was charged with second-degree murder

Rebels extend losing streak to 5 against ‘Canes

4-3 loss comes after a disappointing 6-5 S/O loss on Saturday

People’s Party of Canada’s anti-immigration views ‘didn’t resonate’ with voters: prof

Party was formed on anti-immigration, climate denying views in 2018

Most Read