China is criticizing the United Kingdom and European Union for not voicing concerns over Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
In a Christmas Eve address, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused Canada of illegally detaining Hauwei’s chief financial officer, who was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 at the behest of the United States.
“We once again urge Canada to correct mistakes, immediately release Meng Wanzhou, and earnestly protect her legitimate rights and interests. Also, we strongly urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw the arrest warrant on Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” spokesperson Hua Chunying said in the address.
The Chinese official said Britain and Europe should butt out of its ongoing dispute with Canada.
“As for the U.K. and E.U. issuing statements in support of Canada’s practice as you mentioned, I wonder does the case have anything to do with them?” Chunying said.
“When Canada illegally detained the Chinese company’s executive at the behest of U.S, where were they? The so-called standard on human rights they uphold varies with nationalities.”
Canadian businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig have both been detained in China in apparent retaliation for the arrest of the Huawei executive. A third Canadian, Sarah McIvor, was detained last week for work visa violations.
On Sunday a pro-Bejing tabloid Global Times published a scathing editorial saying Canada “will pay for its bad behaviour,” and that “roping in its allies will never work.”
Former CSIS Director Richard Fadden rejected that assertion in an interview with CTV News on Monday.
“I don’t think the West is going to stop pushing back, because I think it’s also in the interest of the West, of other countries, not to have their citizens picked up whenever there’s a disagreement with China,” Fadden said.
“I think we can only do what we’ve been doing already: try and open a dialogue with the Chinese authorities, continue to get the allies to push, and to the extent that we can, try and explain to the Chinese why in a country that’s governed by the rule of law, we can’t simply down tools and let the CFO of Huawei go home.”
Germany weighed in on the diplomatic dispute as well, calling on the Chinese to treat the two Canadians “fairly and in compliance with the rule of law.”
The German Foreign Office said it was concerned that the arrests may have been politically motivated.
“The German Government is convinced Canada will ensure that Meng Wanzhou has a fair, unbiased and transparent judicial procedure,” the foreign office wrote in a Tweet.
France also issued a statement on the Meng case on Monday, citing concern over the detention of the two Canadian men in China and called on Chinese authorities to treat them fairly.
The statement from France also defended Canada’s arrest of Meng as in line with Canada’s international commitments and the Canadian rule of law.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally called for the release of the detained Canadians on Saturday.
“The German Government is convinced 🇨🇦 will ensure that Meng Wanzhou has a fair, unbiased and transparent judicial procedure. For the two Canadians who have been arrested in China, we urge that they be treated fairly and in compliance with the rule of law.” pic.twitter.com/5ittUnJhsX
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) December 23, 2018
— Foreign Policy CAN (@CanadaFP) December 24, 2018