Despite China’s demands that the US government use the shutdown as an excuse not to make a formal extradition request for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, DOJ officials have reportedly told a Canadian diplomat that the DOJ will submit its formal extradition request by the Jan. 30 deadline (the US has 60 days from the day of Meng’s arrest in Vancouver to formally ask for extradition).
The news, which was first published Tuesday by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, sent the offshore yuan lower as Chinese officials accused the US of “abusing” the extradition system in the Meng case. According to the report, David MacNaughton, Canada’s ambassador to the US, met with senior White House and State Department officials about the Meng case.
MacNaughton also reportedly expressed to Washington Canada’s unhappiness that it had been drawn into the dispute, and that several of its citizens are now facing retaliation from Beijing.
“We do not like that it is our citizens who are being punished,” he was quoted as saying. “[The Americans] are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against [Meng] and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”
He also said the US had expressed its appreciation that Ottawa would honor the extradition agreement, and said that Canada would continue to press Beijing about releasing Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, the two Canadian nationals arrested on vague “national security” charges in the wake of Meng’s arrest.
In a warning issued after the report, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying threatened that China would “take action” in response to the US’s decision, adding that the extradition convention was “an abuse” of power.
“Everyone has to be held responsible for their own actions. Both the US and Canada should be aware of the seriousness of the case and take steps to rectify the mistake.”
A Huawei executive speaking in Davos also vaguely accused the US of trying to exercise “supremacy”. Deputy Chairman Ken Hu told a panel that no one country should exercise “supremacy” in the global economy, a comment apparently directed at the US and its attempts to push Huawei out of Western markets.
“We are at the turning point of the restructuring of the global economy…the current globalization is the result of competition and cooperation based on comparative advantage. It’s not the pursuit of any single country for absolute primacy.”
Meng’s next court appearance is set for Feb. 6, which will be to set a date for her extradition hearing. Once the US submits its formal extradition request, the Canadian Department of Justice will have 30 days to decide whether to approve the request and begin extradition proceedings.