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China welcomes Huawei executive home, Trudeau hugs Canadians freed by Beijing

Stock MarketsSep 25, 2021 11:11PM ET
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3/3 © Reuters. Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou leaves court and the conclusion of a hearing in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada September 24, 2021. REUTERS/Jennifer Gauthier 2/3

By David Kirton and David Stanway

SHENZHEN, China/TORONTO (Reuters) - Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou arrived in China on Saturday, ending her near three-year U.S. extradition fight, the same day two Canadians detained by Beijing for more than 1,000 days returned home, potentially paving the way for improved ties between China and the two western allies.

Meng https://www.reuters.com/business/huawei-heir-apparent-prepares-life-after-three-years-canada-court-battle-2021-09-24, the daughter of Huawei Technologies founder Ren Zhengfei, was allowed to go home after reaching an agreement with U.S. prosecutors on Friday to end a bank fraud case against her.

The extradition drama has been a central source of discord between Beijing and Washington, with Chinese officials signalling that the case had to be dropped to help end a diplomatic stalemate.

Two Canadians detained by Chinese authorities just days after Meng's arrest - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - were embraced on the tarmac by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after they landed in Calgary.

"You've shown incredible strength, resilience, and perseverance," Trudeau said in a Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) post with photos of him welcoming them home. "Know that Canadians across the country will continue to be here for you, just as they have been."

In the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Meng wore a patriotic red-coloured dress as she exited a plane to be greeted by well-wishers.

"I'm finally back home," Meng was quoted as saying by the Global Times tabloid backed by the ruling Communist Party. "The waiting in a foreign country was full of suffering. I was speechless the moment my feet touched Chinese soil."

Chinese state media welcomed Meng back but were silent about Kovrig and Spavor, who were released hours after Meng on Friday.

Huawei said in a statement that it "looked forward to seeing Ms. Meng returning home safely to be reunited with her family." It said it would continue to defend itself against U.S. charges.

The agreement opened U.S. President Joe Biden to criticism from Washington's China hawks who argue his administration is capitulating to China and one of its top companies at the centre of a global technology rivalry between the two countries.

Some Republican senators swiftly condemned Meng's release and urged the White House to address the U.S. Congress on the issue.

"The release of Ms. Meng raises serious questions about President Biden's ability and willingness to confront the threat posed by Huawei and the Chinese Communist Party," said Marco Rubio in a text message to Reuters.

Senator Jim Risch said in a statement that the deal was "a victory for one of the world's most brutal and cruel regimes," and would embolden the Communist Party "to use other foreign citizens as bargaining chips because it now knows hostage taking is a successful way to get what it wants."

Some Chinese commentators felt otherwise.

"By agreeing to let Meng return to China, the Biden administration is signalling that it hopes to clear the mess left behind by the former Trump administration," said Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.

'BLURRING WITH TEARS'

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV carried a statement by Meng, written as her plane flew over the North Pole, avoiding U.S. airspace. Meng said her eyes were "blurring with tears" as she approached "the embrace of the great motherland."

Meng was detained in December 2018 in Vancouver after a New York court issued an arrest warrant, saying she tried to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.

Acting U.S. attorney Nicole Boeckmann said Meng had "taken responsibility for her principal role in perpetuating a scheme to defraud a global financial institution."

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the charges against her had been "fabricated" in order to suppress the country's high-tech industries.

At the airport in Shenzhen, Meng's hometown, a crowd of well-wishers chanted patriotic slogans and held aloft red banners to welcome her return.

"The fact that Meng Wanzhou can be declared not guilty and released is a huge victory in politics and diplomacy for people in China," said Liu Dan, who was among the crowd.

State news agency Xinhua attributed Meng's release to the "unremitting efforts of the Chinese government".

Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times, wrote on Twitter that "international relations have fallen into chaos" as a result of Meng's "painful three years".

He added, "No arbitrary detention of Chinese people is allowed."

However, neither Hu nor other local media have mentioned the release of Spavor and Kovrig, and reactions on China's Twitter-like Weibo (NASDAQ:WB) social media platform have been few and far between.

China's foreign ministry has not commented publicly.

China has previously denied engaging in "hostage diplomacy", insisting that the arrest and detention of the Canadians was not tied in any way to the proceedings against Meng.

Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced to 11 years in jail in August. Kovrig had still been awaiting sentencing.

China welcomes Huawei executive home, Trudeau hugs Canadians freed by Beijing
 

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Comments (18)
kashi Bhai
kashi Bhai Sep 26, 2021 2:16AM ET
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good
Brandon Olds
Brandon Olds Sep 26, 2021 1:17AM ET
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Communist dog eating guilty female liar
Kwong To
Kwong To Sep 26, 2021 1:17AM ET
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Why so work up? Trump is one hell of a big white liar, what do you say?
cj go
cj go Sep 26, 2021 1:17AM ET
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Jason Bacon
Jason Bacon Sep 26, 2021 12:42AM ET
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the title should be; China rewarded for detainment of Canadian citizens
Kwong To
Kwong To Sep 26, 2021 12:42AM ET
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No. It should be 'An eye for an eye'
simon Sun
simon Sun Sep 25, 2021 6:09PM ET
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What a joke,she is Guilty as ****
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 6:09PM ET
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How is she guilty? Show us the proofs...
Jack Zhang
Jack_A Sep 25, 2021 6:09PM ET
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this is political kidnapping from the beginning. look at the loser!!!
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 5:59PM ET
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I am happy for Ms. Meng. She will become the face of woman world who stood up against State bully and won hands down...
Brandon Olds
Brandon Olds Sep 25, 2021 5:59PM ET
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write your real first name you Chinese communist... u are a David but rather a Chong Xi Yang
Pax Mundi
Pax Mundi Sep 25, 2021 4:11PM ET
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It must be pointed out that Liu Dan's statement "The fact that Meng Wanzhou can be declared not guilty and released is a huge victory in politics and diplomacy for people in China" is not true.  While Meng pleaded "not guilty" there was no such declaration by the United States.  In fact, the document Meng signed to be factual is an admission that she lied with full knowledge and knowing that Skynet was in fact a subsidiary of Huawei .
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 4:11PM ET
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No, the facts show clearly she did no wrong. They know full well if case were to continue, US would lost hands down...
Bill Chan
Bill Chan Sep 25, 2021 4:11PM ET
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Even she did also not right to detain her with US law. China is doing business with Iran. That's normal as business transaction. You can't force other countries to follow you
Max Chan
Max Chan Sep 25, 2021 4:11PM ET
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Enough with the world following US arbitary sanctions rules. It is all about Iran oil anyways, just like Iraq's WMD that was never found
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Sep 25, 2021 4:09PM ET
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China owns the weak USA
Trevor Roberts
LimitUp Sep 25, 2021 4:09PM ET
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You like tossing Communist salad huh?! Ok whatever you are into.
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Sep 25, 2021 1:30PM ET
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Burisma Joe performs on Chinese orders. Who could imagine this?
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 1:30PM ET
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How? explain yourself...
New Jazenevd
New Jazenevd Sep 25, 2021 1:30PM ET
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David David  Do you think, maybe, that Trudeau made this deal with China without approval from DC? Think again.
John Hat
John Hat Sep 25, 2021 1:22PM ET
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China is run by a system called thugocracy. Their leaders are weak and corrupt.
Fungus Amongus FA
Fungus Amongus FA Sep 25, 2021 1:22PM ET
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Wrong ! .. china leader will eat Biden for lunch .. most dims dont see this .. china is a BIG threat to US in a long run
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Sep 25, 2021 1:22PM ET
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John Hat, do you think the leaders of america who have fallen to the plutocracy system are better than chinese leaders?
John Hat
John Hat Sep 25, 2021 1:22PM ET
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China commies are very weak and pathetic. They can feel their power slipping, and when they finally act, the whole world will come down on them. A lost nation.
Limin Tandiono
Limin Tandiono Sep 25, 2021 1:22PM ET
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Why then US is afraid of the weak China? so that they seek all means to contain China growth and make China its top competitor? If China is weak, why US would have this worry in the first place?
Fungus Amongus FA
Fungus Amongus FA Sep 25, 2021 1:20PM ET
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Most dims are major .. co/c s-u/<e-rs
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Sep 25, 2021 1:20PM ET
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Did you enjoy it?
king michael
king michael Sep 25, 2021 1:10PM ET
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Canada is now becoming famous in helping and protecting drug dealers. Soon more and more drug lords from SA countries will immigrate to Canada. Bad to us in America. Time to put more drug traffic police officers at US/Canada border.
HD HD
HD HD Sep 25, 2021 1:10PM ET
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so your telling me the war on drugs has been a success over the last 70 years ? LOL. HAHAHAHA!!!!
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 12:30PM ET
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Today, the whole world celebrate Ms. Meng back home to her country!!!
Stoxer One
Stoxer One Sep 25, 2021 12:30PM ET
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oh please, only China is celebrating
Jose Maderno
Jose Maderno Sep 25, 2021 10:23AM ET
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And they said Hunter couldn't deliver...
king michael
king michael Sep 25, 2021 9:24AM ET
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Hope the two drug dealers stop selling drugs after return to Canada.
Antonio Velardo
Antonio Velardo Sep 25, 2021 9:24AM ET
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What are you talking about??? The two canadians were not accused of any drugs dealing. They were accused of spionage. The drig dealer os another canadian guy in jail in china. It’s clear that you guy are talking without knowing anything!!!
Nordin Mohamad
Nordin Mohamad Sep 25, 2021 8:56AM ET
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the advance animal country..they will make u their breakfast everyday
Antonio Velardo
Antonio Velardo Sep 25, 2021 8:30AM ET
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👍
David David
David9 Sep 25, 2021 6:20AM ET
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Tyler Reeves
Tyler Reeves Sep 25, 2021 6:16AM ET
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