FILE PHOTO: Robert Long holds a sign outside the B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was held on an extradition warrant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 11, 2018. LINDSEY WASSON / REUTERS
FILE PHOTO: Robert Long holds a sign outside the B.C. Supreme Court bail hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was held on an extradition warrant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada December 11, 2018. LINDSEY WASSON / REUTERS

Beijing — China has accused the US of “bullying behaviour” after US authorities confirmed plans to seek the extradition of a top Chinese telecom executive detained in Canada.

The US faces a January 30 deadline to file an extradition request for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, whose arrest in December sparked diplomatic tensions.

“We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the US/Canada extradition treaty,” said US justice department spokesperson Marc Raimondi on Tuesday.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested at Vancouver airport on December 1 at the request of the US, which says she violated American sanctions on Iran. He has since been freed on 10-million Canadian dollars ($7.5m) bail and is awaiting a hearing on her extradition.

According to the agreement between the two countries, the US has 60 days after an arrest made at its request in Canada to formalise an extradition request.

Once a request has been submitted, the Canadian justice ministry has 30 days to begin official extradition proceedings, though the process can take months or years.

China, which has defended both Huawei and Meng since the CFO’s arrest, criticised the US extradition request as without “legitimate reason” and “not in conformity with international law”.

“This is a type of technological bullying behaviour and everyone can clearly see the real purpose,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

The US “will stop at nothing to suppress Chinese high-tech enterprises and restrain China’s legitimate development rights”, she said.

Meng’s arrest has sparked an escalating diplomatic crisis between Ottawa and Beijing. Two Canadians have since been detained in China on national security grounds, in what is thought to be retaliation for the arrest.

A Chinese court sentenced a Canadian man to death in January for drug trafficking following a retrial, a drastic increase of his previous 15-year prison sentence.

AFP