Huawei's chief financial officer is reflecting on her year-long court battle in Canada. Meng Wanzhou has been fighting extradition to the U.S. on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.
She's published an online letter describing her "helplessness" and "fear.”
Just over a year ago, Meng, the Chief Financial officer of Huawei and daughter of the founder, stepped off a plane in Vancouver. She was connecting flights to Mexico for business meetings.
Three hours after being detained and interrogated by Canadian officials at Vancouver's airport, Meng was arrested on December 1st at the request of the United States. Washington claims she violated U.S. sanctions against Iran. Beijing say the charges are politically motivated.
Meng has now published an open letter on the company's website, detailing her life in Canada and thanking her supporters.
In it, she said, "The past year has witnessed moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment, and struggle. Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation. I'm no longer afraid of the unknown.”
She also says the applause in the public gallery after the court granted her bail, made her burst into tears. Under her bail conditions, Meng was given an electric tag but she is allowed to travel around much of Vancouver. Her arrest, she wrote, had changed her life, allowing more time for hobbies like painting and reading. Meng also went on to praise "the kindness of the people in Canada.”
Meng's arrest sparked a diplomatic row. News of the arrest broke shortly after China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump sat down to dinner to negotiate a truce in the trade dispute at the G-20 summit in Argentina. The detention has also strained relations between China and Canada.
Shortly after Meng's arrest, two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were accused of spying and arrested in China. Beijing says the cases are not related to Meng. The two remain in detention. Following Canada's elections last month, Chinese authorities once again called for the release of Meng.
"I would say that China shouldn't take on the responsibility for the difficulties in the China-Canada relationship,”said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. “We urge the re-elected Canadian government to seriously treat China's solemn stand and concerns and immediately release Meng Wanzhou, and bring the China-Canada relationship back on track by taking real actions.”
While Meng continues to fight extradition to the U.S., a court hearing is scheduled to begin January 2020 in the U.S. regarding her case.