China accuses Canada of violating agreement over Huawei arrest
- Beijing’s war of words continues after it says Canada failed to inform it immediately that Sabrina Meng Wanzhou had been detained
- Foreign ministry also claims daughter of telecoms giant has been treated ‘inhumanely’
China accused Canada of violating a bilateral agreement by failing to inform its consulate immediately of the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou.
“According to the China-Canada consular agreement, if a Chinese citizen is arrested by the Canadian government, the Canadian government should immediately notify the Chinese embassy,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in Beijing on Monday. “But the Canadian government didn’t do that.”
Lu declined to answer multiple follow-up questions on when exactly Beijing found out about the detention.
Lu also complained that Meng was being treated “inhumanely”, citing state media reports that she was not getting sufficient medical care.
Meng has filed court papers in Vancouver seeking bail and, in a sworn affidavit, the 46-year-old said she had received hospital treatment for hypertension since she was arrested on December 1 for possible extradition to the US.
The state-run Global Times reported, without citing sources, that “it seems that the Canadian detention facility is not offering her the necessary health care”.
Based on that report, Lu said: “We believe this is inhumane and violates her human rights.”
Over the weekend, the Chinese authorities separately summoned the ambassadors of Canada and the United States to protest against Meng’s arrest on charges that she committed fraud to sidestep sanctions against Iran.
The case has become the latest flashpoint in US-China relations and has sent stock markets tumbling.
China has warned Canada that it would face grave consequences if it does not release Meng immediately.
In a separate statement, foreign vice-minister Le Yucheng said America’s actions had violated the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and are extremely bad in nature”.
Bloomberg and Agence France-Presse