Eli Ridder | Report
Huawei financial executive Meng Wanzhou was freed on bail by a Canadian judge at a Vancouver court on Tuesday afternoon, potentially easing a tension flare-up between Canada and China.
Justice William Ehrcke made the decision in the British Columbia Supreme Court, allowing Meng to walk away from jail for the price of $10 million, $7 million from her husband and $3 in sureties.
Meng started the bail hearing two days ago, after being detained by Canadian services on an arrest warrant from the U.S., and faces extradition to the United States.
The Crown argued that Meng poses a flight risk because of her wealth, lack of ties to the jurisdiction, and the fact she lives primarily in China: a country without an extradition treaty with the U.S. or Canada.
The release comes after tensions between Ottawa and Beijing flared up throughout the day following the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat turned businessman and condemnation from the United States.
The Canadian government is considering increasing the risk level for nationals travelling to China following the detention of Meng Wanzhou, CTV News reported on Tuesday.
Canadian security services arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Dec. 1 at the request of the United States, a move that has infuriated Beijing.
The proposal of launching a travel warning is being considered by Ottawa, among other options, as it stays in contact with Beijing, CTV reports.
Washington has urged China to stop “arbitrary” detentions after a Canadian businessman was arrested.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed former Canadian diplomat turned international crisis advisor Michael Kovrig was detained in China earlier this week.
Mr. Kovrig, a Mandarin speaker, has been working as a full-time Southeast Asia advisor for the International Crisis Group since February 2017.
There is no formal confirmation that Kovrig’s detention is tied to Chinese frustrations over Meng’s arrest, but the Dec. 1 incident ignited fears of backlash from Beijing against Canadian business in China.
China warned the Canadian envoy on Saturday that there would be unspecified “consequences” over the arrest, which took place on the actions of a U.S. warrant.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Canadian officials have been in contact with their Chinese counterparts to express “deep concerns” over detainment of Kovrig, saying that Global Affairs Canada “will be taking all appropriate actions”.
Kovrig’s arrest is not the only development in the Huawei arrest incident and fallout on Tuesday.
In the afternoon, Meng is set to head to court in Vancouver for a third day where a judge will consider her bail request.
Meng, 46, is considered among the most powerful businesswomen in China, and also the daughter of Huawei’s founder.
She is wanted for extradition to the U.S. on allegations of fraud, including using a shell company to get around international United States sanctions on Iran over five years.
Earlier on Tuesday, Canadian reporters had off-camera access to the United States envoy in Canada, Kelly Craft, who said that there was “absolutely” no political motive behind the arrest.
However, Craft made clear the implications of China’s rise were a big topic around the bargaining table during the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Image of Meng Wanzhou from previous files.