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Canada warns U.S. not to politicise extradition cases

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Canada warns U.S. not to politicise extradition cases

By David Ljunggren

 

2018-12-13T000512Z_2_LYNXMPEEBB24X_RTROPTP_4_USA-CHINA-HUAWEI.JPG

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday warned the United States not to politicise extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he could intervene in the affair of a Chinese executive detained in Canada at Washington's request.

 

Freeland also told reporters that a second Canadian citizen could be in trouble in China. Authorities in China are already holding former diplomat Michael Kovrig, who was detained on Monday.

 

Officials say China had so far not linked Kovrig's detention to the arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 1 of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, which infuriated Beijing. But Canadian diplomatic experts have said they have no doubt the two cases are linked.

 

U.S. prosecutors accuse Meng of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions. She has said she is innocent.

 

Trump told Reuters on Tuesday he would intervene https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump/trump-says-would-intervene-in-arrest-of-chinese-executive-idUSKBN1OB01P in the U.S. Justice Department's case against Meng if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

 

Freeland said it was obvious the legal process should not be hijacked for political purposes and that Meng's lawyers would have the option of raising Trump's remarks if they decided to fight extradition.

 

"Our extradition partners should not seek to politicize the extradition process or use it for ends other than the pursuit of justice and following the rule of law," she said when asked about Trump's comments.

 

Her words mark another potentially difficult moment in ties between Canada and the United States, which were heavily strained during more than a year of talks to negotiate a new North American trade pact.

 

Others also questioned whether Trump might be misusing the extradition request.

 

"This is a legal issue and one that appears properly executed but your comments can only diminish an important extradition agreement," said Bruce Heyman, an ex-U.S. ambassador to Canada who was appointed by President Barack Obama, Trump's predecessor.

 

Meng was released on bail by a Canadian court on Tuesday and is next due to appear before a judge on Feb. 6.

 

The United States has not yet made a formal extradition petition. Once it does, if a Canadian judge rules in favour of the request, Canada's justice minister must decide whether to extradite Meng to the United States.

 

Canadian government officials earlier told a briefing that Meng had many legal options to fight extradition and the process could take years.

 

The justice minister could deny the U.S. request if they deem "it has been made for an improper purpose," said one official.

 

The Meng affair has soured Canada's ties with China at a time when Ottawa is trying to boost bilateral trade.

 

Freeland expressed deep concern over the Kovrig case and said a second unnamed man had called Canadian authorities to say Chinese officials were asking him questions.

 

"We have not been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this," she said.

 

"We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with the Chinese authorities."

 

The government officials said they had seen an uptick in anti-Canadian sentiment online and in China and have communicated concerns about diplomatic staff safety to the Chinese government, which beefed up security in response.

 

"We have in general informed our personnel in Beijing and in our consulates to take extra precautions," an official said.

 

(Additional reporting by Anna Mehler Paperny, Allison Martell and Denny Thomas in Toronto and Julie Gordon in Vancouver; editing by Bernadette Baum and Rosalba O'Brien)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2018-12-13
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Trump has totally caved on the Chinese. This was the most important issue of his presidency.  And it was the only one which generated some bipartisan support--and international support. Now, he has blown it. Now he's Meng's defense attorney??? Pretty soon, he will be asking Xi for a place on the Politburo. 

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14 minutes ago, Cryingdick said:

 

Trump is the only guy that has stood up to the Chinese in two decades.  

They are dropping tariffs from 45 to 15% on American cars and bought $180 million of soy beans today.  Other than that it's $2 a gallon for gas.

 

Meanwhile the US hasn't given any concessions. This is just the start.

They were buying soybeans before all this started. Car tariffs were at 15 percent before all this started. Just what have they given up?  I supported Trump because I hoped for a trade war. This is not just about trade deficits; it's about the survival of the nation and the West.  Selling soybeans, natural gas, oil, gasoline, timber, pork, and other natural/agricultural resources for Chinese made computers, hi-tech hardware, and other finished goods is the model for a colony providing raw material to its imperial master. This "deal" is a joke, just a continuation of what existed before, after all the yelling and shouting. Meanwhile, no designating China a currency manipulator, either. Frankly, the US would have been better off facing down China with the TPP than this weak "deal" Trump is now promising.

Edited by zydeco
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57 minutes ago, zydeco said:

They were buying soybeans before all this started. Car tariffs were at 15 percent before all this started. Just what have they given up?  I supported Trump because I hoped for a trade war. This is not just about trade deficits; it's about the survival of the nation and the West.  Selling soybeans, natural gas, oil, gasoline, timber, pork, and other natural/agricultural resources for Chinese made computers, hi-tech hardware, and other finished goods is the model for a colony providing raw material to its imperial master. This "deal" is a joke, just a continuation of what existed before, after all the yelling and shouting. Meanwhile, no designating China a currency manipulator, either. Frankly, the US would have been better off facing down China with the TPP than this weak "deal" Trump is now promising.

You are so wrong on so many levels that I won't bother with a rebuttal. We aren't going to see eye to eye.

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In the meantime:

 

Michael Spavor: Second Canadian 'missing' in China

  •  

"Canada's foreign ministry says it is trying to make contact with a second Canadian who is believed to have been detained in China...It comes after former diplomat Michael Kovrig was arrested in China this week...Chinese state media have reported that Mr Kovrig is being held "on suspicion of engaging in activities that harm China's state security..."

 

Looks like that is where somebody got caught.

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The arrest of Meng amply illustrates the extent to which Canada is (and always has been since WW2) a minion of the United States.  (Plus, Canada having done the business for America at Vancouver Airport, Trump then goes and blows it by suggesting that he can interfere with the judicial system of another country!!)

 

Ah well, I wonder who in Canada will get to spend the $10 million she forfeits when she jumps bail.  More bling for Justin?

Edited by blazes

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6 hours ago, zydeco said:

Trump has totally caved on the Chinese. This was the most important issue of his presidency.  And it was the only one which generated some bipartisan support--and international support. Now, he has blown it. Now he's Meng's defense attorney??? Pretty soon, he will be asking Xi for a place on the Politburo. 

How right you are.  Even the Chinese are calling Xi's regime and evil one. (behind closed doors)  This was the chance that the whole world saw was worth taking in order to confront these people but Trump just bent all the way over.  Damn.

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7 hours ago, webfact said:

U.S. prosecutors accuse Meng of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

Apart from HSBC maybe, who owns all the banks in the world that would have a hard on about Iran.  Here is the underbelly of this thing.

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7 minutes ago, bristolboy said:

In fact, China contributes very little to the value of the high tech hardware that comes from there. Last figure I saw was 3 percent. The most advanced parts come from somewhere else. China is mainly an assembly center. That also means that the value of Chinese exports to the USA is greatly overestimated. A lot of that deficit is really with the countries where the parts are manufactures.And some of those parts, usually the most expensive ones, actually come from the USA.

Actually, the battle is not about hardware anymore. In spite of being the world's largest supplier of communication equipment (largely thanks to technology stolen from Cisco), the battle is over cloud services and AI, and Huawei figures prominently in Cloud services. In fact, until recently, Canada was the top market worldwide for cloud computing. The US, Japan, etc., are already spoken for by the likes of Cisco. Canada has been reluctant to adopt Huawei for political and security reasons and this current situation makes this even more acute.

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