The chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei – and daughter of the company’s founder – has been stranded in Canada since 2018. Now, a deal with US prosecutors has paved the way for Meng Wanzhou’s return to China.
New York / Vancouver (dpa) – Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, stranded in Canada for years, may return to China after a deal with U.S. officials.
The US government withdrew his extradition request, and a Canadian court lifted all bail conditions. “Meng Wanzhou is free to leave Canada,” the Canadian Department of Justice said.
The top manager of the Chinese network and smartphone provider had reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice a few hours earlier. The process is initially to be suspended until December 1, 2022, and then halted if Meng adheres to the terms of the deal. Meng in particular undertook not to contradict the presentation of individual facts by the American side. Meng had already declared himself innocent again in court.
US accused of circumventing Iran sanctions
Huawei chief financial officer and daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei was arrested in December 2018 at the instigation of U.S. authorities in Vancouver, Canada. The US government accused her, among other things, of circumventing sanctions against Iran. Meng has always protested his innocence and accused the authorities of violating his rights during the arrest. In Beijing, the process was seen as part of the trade war between then-US President Donald Trump and China.
The case had a significant political impact. Shortly after Meng’s arrest, China arrested two Canadian businessmen. In August, one of them was convicted of espionage and obtaining state secrets and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Canada has condemned the prison sentence.
Tensions between Canada and China
Relations between the governments of Beijing and Ottawa have generally been strained since Meng’s arrest. For example, China has imposed import restrictions on rapeseed oil and other products from Canada. At least three suspected Canadian drug traffickers have also been sentenced to death in the People’s Republic.
Specifically, Meng was accused of misrepresenting the relationship between Huawei and tech company Skycom during a presentation to UK bank HSBC in 2013, which put the bank at risk of violating US sanctions against it. Iran. Huawei and Meng deny this. Previous talks about a deal with prosecutors have failed, according to US media, partly because Meng did not want to admit any wrongdoing.