Reversal in diplomatic scandal: Huawei founder’s daughter returns to China

Over the past three years, China-Canada relations have cooled to the level of a small Cold War

A turning point in one of the biggest diplomatic scandals of recent years. After almost 3 years of house arrest in Canada, the daughter of Chinese technology giant Huawei and the company’s chief financial officer has returned to her homeland. She was released after US authorities withdrew her request for her extradition. Hours later, China announced the release of two Canadians accused of espionage.

Chinese state media have welcomed the return of telecommunications giant Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wangzhou, after more than 1,000 days of house arrest in Canada on what they have identified as baseless allegations of bank fraud, Reuters reported.

However, they remained silent about Michael Kovrig and Michael Spaver, the two Canadians released from Chinese arrest, apparently on a reciprocal basis by Beijing.

China Central Television broadcast a statement from Huawei’s chief financial officer as her plane flew over the North Pole to avoid US airspace.

In it, Mann said that “her eyes are watering” as she approaches “the embrace of the great homeland.”

“Without a strong homeland, I would not have the freedom I have today,” she added.

Mann was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver after a court in New York issued an arrest warrant for trying to cover up the actions of Huawei-related companies selling Iran’s equipment in violation of US sanctions. After more than two years of court battles, she was finally allowed to leave Canada for China yesterday. This happened after an agreement with the US prosecutor’s office.

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According to the agreement with the US authorities, if she does not violate it, the charges against her will be dropped by the end of 2022. She received permission from Washington to return to her homeland immediately.

Mann has admitted that she misled a bank about her company’s business with Iran, which violated sanctions against Tehran.

Hours later, Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spaver, detained just days after Mann’s arrest, were also released, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Today, the state news agency Xinhua officially acknowledged that Meng’s arrest was over, and attributed this to “the Chinese government’s continued efforts.”

Hu Xijing, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, which is close to the ruling Chinese Communist Party, wrote on Twitter that “international relations have fallen into chaos” as a result of Meng’s “painful three years.”

“Arbitrary detention of Chinese is not allowed,” he added.

However, neither Hu nor other media mentioned the release of Kovrig and Spaver, and the reactions in the Chinese analogue of Twitter social network Weibo are few and only by the way.

The foreign ministry also declined to comment publicly.

China has previously denied involvement in “hostage diplomacy” and insisted that the two Canadians’ detention had nothing to do with Meng’s extradition proceedings.

Spaver was accused of handing over photos of Kovrig’s military equipment, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison in August. Kovrig was awaiting sentencing.

Meng Wanzhou is also known as Sabrina Meng and Katie Meng. She is the eldest daughter of Huawei founder billionaire Ren Zhengfei. He has been working in his father’s company since 1999. Since 2011 becomes CFO. A few months before she was arrested in 2018, she was promoted to vice president of the Chinese technology giant.

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