China is demanding that the US drop a request that Canada extradite a top executive of the tech giant Huawei, shifting blame to Washington in a case that has severely damaged Beijing's relations with Ottawa. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Tuesday that Meng Wanzhou's case is out of the ordinary and Canada's extradition treaty with the US infringes on the "safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens." Hua said that China demands that the US withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng and "not make a formal extradition request to the Canadian side." Hua's remarks come after more than 100 academics and former diplomats signed a letter calling on China to release two Canadians detained in apparent retaliation for Meng's arrest, the AP reports.
The remarks also follow a Globe and Mail story that the US plans to formally request Meng's extradition to face charges that she committed fraud by misleading banks about Huawei's business dealings in Iran. Meng is Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei. China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor on Dec. 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng, who was arrested Dec. 1 at the request of US authorities. Meng is living under house arrest in her Vancouver mansion while her case is under deliberation. Kovrig and Spavor are being held in Chinese jails and have yet to be granted access to lawyers, according to those who have contact with them. (Another Canadian was sentenced to death after an unusual retrial earlier this month.)