The U.S. will officially request the extradition of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou from Canada.
Canada’s ambassador to the US, David MacNaughton, told the Globe & Mail Monday that Washington was preparing to make the formal request — although he didn’t say when Ottowa would officially receive the notice.
Meng was arrested on December 1 at the request of the U.S. on the grounds that she participated in violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. Chinese-owned Huawei allegedly shipped U.S.-made products to Iran, which is prohibited under sanctions and export laws.
The arrest of the senior Huawei executive has hugely increased trans-pacific tensions. China has arrested two Canadian citizens and sentenced another to death since Meng was taken into custody.
Meanwhile, Canada and China have both issued travel advisories for their citizens about the risks of traveling to either country, with Canada’s warning that citizens may face “arbitrary enforcement of local laws” if they travel to China.
The U.S. has also issued a travel advisory for China after some U.S. passport holders were barred from leaving the country.
On Monday, a group of 141 former ambassadors and academics called on China to release the two Canadians arrested since Meng’s arrest, on the grounds that the work each man had been doing to build international ties should be encouraged. China’s foreign ministry called the letter “a mistake”.
In a further twist, the situation is also creating tension between the U.S. and Canada. MacNaughton, told the Globe and Mail, “[The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”
The deadline for the U.S. to officially request Meng’s extradition is January 30, 60 days after her arrest.