Canada warns Trump against politicising Chinese executive’s arrest

At a campaign rally in South Carolina on Monday night, Trump mocked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and complained about Canada’s trade practices. Trump also repeated his threats on Canadian-made cars.

Ottawa, Dec 13 (IANS) Canada has issued a stern warning to US President Donald Trump against using the arrest of Chinese tech company Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who has been accused of helping the firm dodge American sanctions on Iran, as a bargaining chip in trade talks with Beijing.

“Our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice,” CNN quoted Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland as saying at a press conference on Wednesday while discussing the US request for Meng’s extradition.

Freeland’s remarks come after Trump said in an interview on Tuesday that he might intervene in the legal saga if it would help the US and China reach a trade deal.

His comments were published shortly after Meng, 46, on Tuesday night was granted a $7.5 million bail by a judge in Vancouver.

Meng was arrested during a layover at the Vancouver International Airport on December 1 at the request of American authorities. She now awaits extradition to the US.

Chinese media has repeatedly claimed that Meng’s detention appears to be politically or economically motivated.

Freeland on Wednesday said that in arresting Meng, Canada was just following the terms of its extradition treaty with the US, CNN reported.

The Minister added that she spoke to American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the case.

Freeland also confirmed the detention of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig, currently an employee of the International Crisis Group non-profit, in Beijing.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the detention of Kovrig and Canada has raised the case directly to Chinese officials,” Freeland said.

It was not immediately clear why Kovrig had been detained.

In a press conference Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang refused to confirm or deny that he had been apprehended.

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