Huawei Meng Wanzhou’s CFO returned to China on Friday (24) to ease tensions between the two countries after concluding an agreement to end a bank fraud case against a US lawyer.
Within hours of the deal, two Canadians arrested shortly after Meng’s arrest in December 2018 were released from Chinese prisons to return to Canada. Beijing has denied any involvement in its prisons.
The handover play has been a major topic of discussion on the growing problems between Beijing and Washington for years, with Chinese officials signaling that the case should be dropped to end a diplomatic stalemate.
The deal has drawn criticism from US President Joe Biden in Washington, where some say his government is at the center of a global technological rivalry between China and Asia’s leading companies.
Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport following a US warrant and charged with bank fraud in 2013 for defrauding HSBC of Hawaii business negotiations in Iran.
Meng’s U.S. attorney, Nicole Bookman, said in signing the agreement that “Meng played a key role in executing a plan to defraud the World Financial Institution.”
The deal only applies to Meng, and the U.S. Justice Department says it is preparing for an investigation against Hawaii.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the release of Meng or the Canadians.
A Hawaii spokesman declined to comment.
Someone familiar with the matter said Meng, the daughter of Hawaii founder Ren Zhengfei, left Canada on a flight to Shenzhen.
Two Canadians, businessman Michael Spever and former diplomat Michael Gowrick, were detained in China for more than 1,000 days. In August, a Chinese court sentenced Spare to 11 years in prison for spying.
“Princess and Hawaii”
At a hearing in Brooklyn Federal Court on Friday, Meng was accompanied by Mike from Canada, and Assistant Attorney David Kessler said the government would file a lawsuit to drop the charges against him if he fulfilled all his obligations under the terms of the agreement, which expires in December. 2022.
He said Meng would be released on personal recognition and that the United States planned to withdraw its request to Canada for his deportation.
Meng later spoke to supporters and reporters about the court’s actions, thanking the judge for “justice” and how the case turned his life “upside down”.
Meng was locked up in her Vancouver home and paid 24/7 by a private security team as part of her bail deal.
Called the “Princess of Huawei” by the Chinese state media, she wears an electronic ankle bracelet to track her movements.
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