China warned Canada and the United States that they would retaliate over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou and the threat was carried out. Chinese authorities arrested former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig yesterday in China. As a result, a few hours after the confirmation of this information, a Vancouver judge ordered the release of Huawei's CFO on bail.
The case is now taking on significant proportions and the diplomatic crisis between China, Canada and the United States is only getting worse. First of all, a little reminder of the facts for those who are not familiar with the story.
A week ago, Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's CFO, was arrested in Vancouver, Canada at the request of the United States. The 46-year-old businesswoman was charged with fraud following contracts with Iran, in violation of US sanctions against Tehran. The arrest warrant is from the United States, which is currently waging a trade war against China and is also targeting Huawei and its competitor ZTE for a whole other series of offences. China, angered with the arrest, summoned American Ambassador Terry Branstad and threatened the Canadian authorities with retaliation. A threat carried out after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in China.
Following several days of hearings in the Vancouver court, Justice William Ehrcke of the Supreme Court of British Columbia in Canada ordered Meng Wanzhou's release on bail of $10 million. The Huawei CFO will also have to comply with several other conditions to regain her freedom. This includes returning both her passports, residing in one of her two Vancouver properties and wearing an ankle bracelet. 24-hour surveillance must also be established and she will be prohibited from leaving the house between 11 pm and 6 am.
However, the release does not invalidate the United States' request for extradition. A first hearing has thus been scheduled for February 6. The US government will then have to provide all the necessary documents to justify this extradition. Donald Trump could also use this case to secure a better trade agreement with China, including on customs duties.
At the same time, Huawei welcomed the release of his CFO, stating that the company has "every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings".
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