China envoy accuses Canada of ‘double standards’ over Huawei arrest

Beijing denounced Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. on Dec. 1 on a US extradition warrant, and threatened reprisals unless the case against Meng was dropped. (File/Reuters)
Updated 10 January 2019
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China envoy accuses Canada of ‘double standards’ over Huawei arrest

  • Days after the arrest, China detained two Canadian citizens whom it is investigating for endangering its national security
  • Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms network equipment and the second-biggest smartphone seller

BEIJING/TORONTO: China’s ambassador to Ottawa has accused Canada of “double standards” and disregarding his country’s judicial sovereignty, in a diplomatic row sparked by the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States.
Beijing denounced Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co. on Dec. 1 on a US extradition warrant, and threatened reprisals unless the case against Meng was dropped.
Days after the arrest, China detained two Canadian citizens — businessman Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat and an adviser with the International Crisis Group — whom it is investigating for endangering its national security.
In an article in the Ottawa-based Hill Times newspaper on Wednesday, Ambassador Lu Shaye said Canada’s demands for the release of the two men reflected “double standards” born of “Western egotism and white supremacy.”
Lu wrote, “It seems that, to those people, the laws of Canada or other Western countries are laws and must be observed, while China’s laws are not, and shouldn’t be respected.”
A lack of concern in Canada for Meng suggested that humanitarian treatment was only deemed necessary for Canadian citizens, not Chinese people, he added.
China has not drawn a direct link between its detention of the two Canadians and Meng’s arrest, but Beijing-based Western diplomats have called the cases a tit-for-tat reprisal.
While Meng has had full access to lawyers, has been granted bail and is able to see family, Kovrig is being denied legal representation, is not allowed to see family, and is limited to one consular visit a month.
The United States has sought to extradite Meng on charges of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating US sanctions.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of telecoms network equipment and the second-biggest smartphone seller.
Since at least 2016, the United States has been looking into whether Huawei shipped US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.


EU leaders’ decision on Brexit delay unlikely this week: Juncker

Updated 19 min ago
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EU leaders’ decision on Brexit delay unlikely this week: Juncker

  • The delay, nearly three years since the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, leaves the Brexit divorce uncertain

BERLIN: European Union leaders are unlikely to agree at a summit this week on a delay to Britain’s departure, and will probably have to meet again next week, the head of the bloc’s executive branch said Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to ask Brussels for a delay to Brexit, currently scheduled for March 29, ahead of the EU summit starting Thursday. Details remain unclear, but May’s troubles deepened when the speaker of the House of Commons ruled earlier this week that she can’t keep asking lawmakers to vote on the same divorce deal they have already rejected twice.

Britain’s political chaos is causing increasing exasperation among EU leaders. Asked by Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio what May would need to secure a delay this week, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker replied that “she must bring approval of the negotiated deal and she must bring clear ideas on timing.”

“My impression is ... that this week at the European Council there will be no decision, but that we will probably have to meet again next week, because Mrs. May doesn’t have agreement to anything, either in her Cabinet or in Parliament,” Juncker added.

“As long as we don’t know what Britain could say yes to, we can’t reach a decision.”

A delay to Britain’s withdrawal would require the approval of all 27 remaining EU countries. Juncker said that “in all probability” Britain won’t leave on March 29, but underlined the EU’s insistence that it will not reopen the painstakingly negotiated withdrawal agreement that British lawmakers have snubbed.

“There will be no renegotiations, no new negotiations and no additional assurances on top of the additional assurances we have already given,” he said.

“We will keep talking to the British. We are not in a state of war with Britain, we are in a state of negotiations, but the negotiations are concluded.”