China’s ambassador to Canada visited Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on November 28 and called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to release her. Meng, who was detained last December, is currently under house arrest and wanted by the United States on charges of fraud.
Ambassador Cong Peiwu said, “The Chinese government is determined to protect the just and legitimate rights and interests of its citizens and enterprises, and will continue to urge the Canadian side to correct its mistake and take measures to solve the issue as soon as possible.” The Embassy of China in Canada, in a statement, said, “The great motherland and nearly 1.4 billion Chinese people are your staunchest supporters. We expect you to go back to China safe and sound at an early date.”
In December last year, diplomatic relation of China and Canada soured after the latter detained the Huawei Chief Financial Officer on a US arrest warrant. China apparently retaliated within days and detained two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor. Canada pressurised China to release its two citizens with the help of its allies such as Britain, France, Germany, and the US, but the Chinese ambassador asserted that Meng’s release was a precondition. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, in September, acknowledged that China-Canada relations were facing serious difficulties.
“We urge the Canadian side to reflect on its mistakes, take seriously China's stern position and concerns, and immediately release Meng Wanzhou and let her return safely,” he said at a daily briefing.
Last week, Canada’s Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, at the Halifax International Security Forum, said that China is not adversary despite the diplomatic setbacks. “We don’t consider China as an adversary,” said Sajjan.
“We do have two Canadians that have been arbitrarily detained in China and we ask China for their expeditious release and that’s extremely important to us,” he added.