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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sumas First Nation pilots eight-inch gill-net fishery in Sumas/Vedder River

Project in Abbotsford renews fishing practice and data gathering of chinook salmon

Chilliwack home built in 1910 will be saved from demolition

The 110-year-old house on Hope River Road is being relocated to nearby Riverside Drive

TRAFFIC: Possible injuries in reported crash near Popkum

Drivers advised to avoid the roundabout between Agassiz and Popkum

Police watchdog investigating after Abbotsford man seriously injured during arrest

Abbotsford police used ‘less lethal firearm’ and dog in arrest of man believed to have gun

NDP wants Chilliwack-Kent MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

Most Read