Ambassador visits Canadians detained in China in Huawei case

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves court in Vancouver

Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves court in Vancouver

Canada's ambassador to China has visited two Canadian detained for almost two years in an apparent retaliation for the arrest of an executive of Chinese technology giant Huawei on a US extradition warrant.

The Canadian government said that Ambassador Dominic Barton met with former diplomat Michael Kovrig on Thursday and with businessman Michael Spavor on November 10.

The federal government says no further information can be disclosed about the meetings.

The two have been confined since December 2018, just days after Canada detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who is also the daughter of the company's founder.

Canada's ambassador to China has visited two Canadians detained for nearly two years amid a dispute over the arrest of an executive of Chinese technology giant Huawei.

Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges based on allegations related to USA sanctions against Iran that both she and Huawei deny.

Although Katragadda said he had developed some suspicion that Meng might be inadmissible to Canada because of possible criminality and national security concerns, he acknowledged that he had not developed "reasonable grounds to believe" so.

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The U.S. says Huawei is an espionage arm of the Chinese military and has urged Canada and Western allies not to use its technology, but the company rejects that accusation.

"What Canada has done to Meng Wanzhou is arbitrary detention", foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters last month. The latter has refused to concede this month's US presidential election to challenger Joe Biden, and has made a point in the past of calling out China on trade and security.

The apparent alignment belies a Western wariness of Chinese telecoms firms such as Huawei, with APEC members Australia and the USA banning the tech giant from building 5G wireless networks while pressure ramps up to do likewise in Canada.

The motion also calls on the government to develop plans to counter Chinese intimidation of Canadians in this country, citing Australia's tough measures as an example.

Yet the degree to which the prime minister's sales pitch will even be heard by APEC leaders remains unclear as Canada's tensions with China and the much bigger dispute between Beijing and Washington threaten to overshadow the meeting.

The motion was adopted by a 179-146 vote margin by the House Commons on Wednesday, calling on the Justin Trudeau government to take a call on Huawei's participation in the development of the country's 5G network, within a month, Sputnik reported. His wife, Vina Nadjibulla, is spearheading efforts to have him released and returned home to Canada.

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