It looks like the controversy around the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou isn't going to die down any time soon. Calling the arrest "unreasonable," China on Sunday, December 9, summoned US ambassador Terry Branstad and said that Meng Wanzhou must be released immediately.
Meng was arrested on behalf of the United States from Vancouver airport as she changed planes on December 1 and faces extradition to the US. The hearing on Friday ended without a decision and is set to continue on Monday, December 10.
The US Department of Justice had opened the investigation in April and was probing if the telecommunications brand sold gear to Iran despite a ban on exports to the region. However, China has said that Meng's arrest was a violation of rights of Chinese citizens.
"The actions of the US have seriously violated the legitimate and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and are extremely bad in nature," China's Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told Branstad, according to news agency Xinhua.
"The Chinese side resolutely opposes this and strongly urges the US to attach great importance to China's solemn stance and immediately take measures to correct wrong practices and withdraw arrest warrants against Chinese citizens," Le added.
Xinhua, in a commentary, said that China would take further action in the case depending on the steps the US takes.
Not just the US, Le had issued a similar warning to the Canadian ambassador John McCallum as well, and the Chinese foreign ministry had warned of "grave consequences" for Meng's arrest. Xinhua, in a commentary, had also said that Meng's arrest had caused "serious damage to Sino-Canada relations."
Meng Wenzhou cites health concerns
Meanwhile, CFO Meng has reportedly argued that she should be released on bail until the extradition hearing ends, as she is concerned about her health. Speaking of health issues, Meng said that while in detention, she was taken to the hospital for hypertension and cited this concern to demand her release.
In a sworn affidavit, Meng said she was innocent and would contest the allegations at a trial if she surrendered in the US, reported Al Jazeera. She said that she has been living in Vancouver for a long time now and also owns property in the city.
Her family has also requested to remain in the city if Meng is granted bail and her husband has said that the couple would also bring their daughter to Vancouver, where she would attend school while the case proceedings go on.
According to Meng's lawyer, the couple owns two multimillion-dollar properties in the Dunbar and Shaughnessy neighbourhoods. One of the homes is a sprawling 8,047-square-foot mansion, which is undergoing extensive renovations, reported the South China Morning Post. The other property is a 3,735-square-foot home.