Asia Business Channel

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou released on bail – U.S. President Trump says he’ll “intervene”

Meng Wangzhou, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of China technology giant, Huawei Electronics who was arrested in Canada on December 1st has been granted bail and will be released from detention immediately.

After a unusually long, three-day hearing, Meng was to be released under the following terms: (1) that she post a $10 million bond; (2) that she surrender to the court all her passports; (3) that she will have to wear a GPS ankle bracelet and (4) that she will have a 24-hour security detail to ensure she stay in Canada.

The United States has asked Canada to extradite Meng to the U.S. court in New York to face charges related to Huawei violating sanctions against Iran. The Canadian court said it would grant the U.S. time to provide it with documents related to Meng’s extradition and would make a decision in January.

Many people familiar Meng’s case have said from the very beginning that her arrest was part of a U.S pressure campaign related to the China – U.S. trade negotiations and that her potential prosecution or release was dependent upon China bowing to U.S. demands.

Although the White House has said that Meng’s arrest and the trade negotiations are separate, U.S President Donald Trump said in a Reuters interview that he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

When asked by Reuters if he would intervene, Trump said: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing = what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

Business and political experts have said that the taking of “hostages” by Canada and the U.S. would lead to repercussions and that they should expect China to detain Canadian and U.S. business executives in a tit-for-tat situation.

This seems to have now occurred, with the report that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada announced that a former Canadian diplomat has been detained in China. According to reports, the police in Beijing have detained Michael Kovring, a former Canadian diplomat, who is an East Asia and China policy expert. Kovring has been working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) and living in China since 2017.

Prime Minister Trudeau told reporters: “We are aware of the situation of the Canadian detained in China. We have been in direct contact with the Chinese diplomats and representatives,” he said. “We are engaged on the file, which we take very seriously and we are, of course, providing consular assistance to the family.”

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