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Chinese state media urges Canada to defy US and free Huawei executive

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Canada should distance itself from U.S. “hegemonism” and grant unconditional freedom to Meng Wanzhou, a top executive of China’s Huawei detained in Vancouver on Washington’s request, state-owned tabloid Global Times said in a Thursday editorial.

Meng, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of misleading banks about transactions linked to Iran, putting the banks at risk of violating sanctions. She was arrested on Dec. 1 and released on bail on Tuesday.

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The United States needs to make a formal extradition request within 60 days of her arrest, which a Canadian judge will weigh to determine whether the case against Meng is strong enough. Then it is up to Canada’s justice minister to decide whether to extradite her.

Meng has no criminal record anywhere in the world and her arrest violates a U.S.-Canada extradition agreement, the Global Times said, adding that Canada could end the crisis immediately by freeing Meng unconditionally, rather than acting as the “51st state” of the United States.

“Canada should distance itself from U.S. hegemonism and fulfill its obligations to help maintain international order and protect human rights,” it said.

Even before the arrest, pressure from the United States has been forcing Huawei on to the back foot in telecom markets.

Washington has long expressed worries that Huawei’s ties to Beijing make the network equipment it sells a security risk.

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Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has repeatedly denied accusations that it facilitates Chinese espionage.

“I am proud of Huawei, I am proud of my motherland,” Meng said in a post on Chinese social media after her release.

Meng’s arrest and Huawei’s struggle to allay security fears have triggered a wave of sympathy on Chinese social media.

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“She has a strong motherland at her back,” wrote one user on the Twitter-like Weibo.

DETAINED CANADIAN
Authorities in China are holding former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig on suspicion of engaging in activities harmful to national security. He was detained on Monday.

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The Global Times said there was no evidence Kovrig’s arrest was in any way connected to the case, but added, “the assumption is because Canada has gone too far and people naturally believe China will retaliate”.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland warned the United States on Wednesday not to politicize extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he would intervene in the case if it served national security interests.

In another editorial on Thursday, the official China Daily newspaper accused the United States of manufacturing the diplomatic incident in order to serve political ends.

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“Washington is mistaken if it thinks it can take Meng hostage and ransom her for concessions in the upcoming trade talks,” it said.

Reporting by David Stanway and Ryan Woo; Editing by Kim Coghill and Himani Sarkar


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump conduct ‘beyond anything Nixon did’: House impeachment chair

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President Donald Trump, by withholding military aid from Ukraine to demand dirt on a potential 2020 election rival, went beyond anything done by disgraced predecessor Richard Nixon, the Democratic chair of the House impeachment panel alleged Thursday.

"What we've seen here is far more serious than a third-rate burglary of the Democratic headquarters," House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff said in a reference to the Watergate scandal that led to Nixon's resignation.

"What we're talking about here is the withholding of recognition (for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy) in that White House meeting, the withholding of military aid to an ally at war," Schiff said.

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Mulvaney lawyer denies Mick was ‘so heavily involved’ — despite his White House briefing room confession

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Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was referenced multiple times during Dr. Fiona Hill's testimony Thursday, but Mulvaney's lawyer said he doesn't understand why.

"We have no idea why Ms. Hill believes Mr. Mulvaney was so heavily involved, especially in light of Ambassador Sondland’s contrary testimony," said Fox News reporter Chad Pergram, quoting a statement from Robert Driscoll.

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram/status/1197633921065930753

As former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance pointed out, Hill recalled during her testimony how angry she was about Sondland not briefing her. She said that after hearing his testimony Wednesday and learning he was briefing Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Mulvaney and President Donald Trump. She then decided he was correct-they had separate missions and Sondland was on a domestic political errand.

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Adam Schiff’s anger boils over at GOP’s hypocrisy on Russian meddling: ‘Of course they were silent!’

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During his closing statement today in the House impeachment inquiry, Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff forcefully condemned what he sees as Republican hypocrisy when it comes to Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Schiff slammed the contention of some Republicans that the "whole idea that Russia got involved in the 2016 election was a hoax put out by the Democrats."

"And of course, they're not alone in pushing out this idea that is trumpeted by no one other than the President of the United States, who almost on a daily basis at times would comment, and tweet, and propagate the idea the Russia's interference in our election was a hoax," Schiff continued. "And of course, we all remember that debacle in Helsinki when the President stood next to Vladimir Putin and questioned his own intelligence agencies -- I wish I had heard just some of the righteous indignation we heard in the Committee today when the President questioned that fundamental conclusion of our intelligence agencies, but course, they were silent!"

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