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China is prepared to respond to Canada if extradition of Meng Wanzhou materializes: experts (Interview)

《环球时报》 2019-01-09

As Huawei senior executive Meng Wanzhou's case approaches a critical point, China has continued to push for her unconditional release and is ready with possible responses to Canada if the latter fails to correct its mistakes, Chinese experts said.

Canada is seeking help from its alliance to pressure China on the case and the detention of two Canadians.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called US President Donald Trump on Monday, with the Canadian Prime Minister's Office saying the two leaders discussed the high-profile US extradition request, though Meng was not named, and agreed on respecting the independence of judges and the rule of law, the CBC reported on Tuesday.

Meng, who Canada arrested following a US request on December 1, was released on bail on December 11. The US has 60 days from the arrest date to make a full extradition, with the deadline being the end of this month. Meng is scheduled to reappear in court on February 6.

In the phone call, Trudeau also thanked Trump for the "strong statements of support" by the US in response to the "arbitrary detention" of two Canadians in China. "The two leaders agreed to continue to seek their release," according to the CBC report.

But, apparently, Canada has miscalculated in its quest to gain international support.

Bloomberg reported that Trudeau also spoke this week to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the issue, but Japan didn't express concern over the detentions or demand that the Canadians be released.

"Canada begs everywhere for international pressure on China in Meng's case and also on the release of two Canadians to gain a better position in negotiations with China, but it would only find itself in a failed situation," Song Guoyou, director of Fudan University's Center for Economic Diplomacy, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Song said that Japan did not back it, it's more impossible that other countries support Canada.

"The desperate Canada dares not challenge China directly as China has stood firm on Meng's case and also has plenty of cards against Canada if it insists on extraditing Meng," Song said.

Canada seems to be isolated on Meng's case, as trade talks between China and the US, which Trump had said he may intervene in Meng's case to help close the trade deal, is likely to end this week.

The positive sign in trade talks has created a favorable environment for resolving Meng's case, Diao Daming, a US studies expert and an associate professor at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times.

Daniel W. Levy, a principal in the New York office of Mckool Smith and a former Assistant US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told the Global Times that it is unlikely that the US will not seek extradition in Meng's case, but Meng can challenge extradition in Canada under Canadian law.

If the extradition materializes, China-Canada relations would suffer; and that China has also prepared a response for this situation, such as travel restrictions to Canada and Canadian imports, according to experts.

They also warned that China would continue pushing for the release of Meng, and the strength of its response depends on what the Canadian government does. (By Zhang Hui, Source:Global Times)