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The US Justice Department said on Tuesday that it will pursue the extradition of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, arrested in Canada in December on allegations that she participated in a conspiracy to defraud banks.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou faces accusations in the United States that she misrepresented her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.
The US statement came the day after a report that Canada’s ambassador to the United States said the Canadian government was told that Washington planned to proceed.
The ambassador, David MacNaughton, told The Globe and Mail on Monday that he had voiced Canadian resentment about the dispute that ended in Meng’s arrest. China later detained two Canadians and imposed the death penalty on a third.
“We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US/Canada Extradition Treaty,” Marc Raimondi, a spokesman for the US Department of Justice, said in a statement.
“We greatly appreciate Canada’s continuing support of our mutual efforts to enforce the rule of law.”
Meng is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei. Huawei has close ties to China’s military and is considered one of the country’s most successful international enterprises, operating in the high-tech sphere where China hopes to establish dominance.
Earlier on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying demanded that the US drop the extradition request.
Chunying said Meng’s case was out of the ordinary and Canada’s extradition treaty with the US infringed on the “safety and legitimate rights and interest of Chinese citizens”.