Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, arrives at the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Sept. 25, 2021, on a charter flight organized by the Chinese government, after being illegally detained for nearly three years in Canada. Meng has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors. The U.S. side has withdrawn its extradition request. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, arrived in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen on Saturday night on a charter flight organized by the Chinese government, after being illegally detained for nearly three years in Canada.
At around 10 p.m., the charter flight touched down at the Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport.
Meng, in a red dress, waved to the welcoming crowd after she stepped out of the cabin. As she walked down the stairs, applause and cheers erupted from the crowd. Airport staff presented flowers to her.
The crowd held up a banner reading "Welcome home, Ms. Meng Wanzhou," waved national flags, and chanted "welcome home."
There were no handshakes due to epidemic prevention concerns. Meng made a brief speech at the airport.
"After more than 1,000 days of torment, I am finally back in the embrace of the motherland," Meng said.
"I am back, motherland!" she chanted to the cheering crowd.
"As an ordinary Chinese citizen who had suffered this plight and been stranded overseas for nearly three years, there was never a moment when I did not feel the care and warmth of the Party, the motherland and the people," she said.
"President Xi Jinping cares about the safety of each and every Chinese citizen, including me. I am deeply moved by this," Meng said. "I also thank the relevant departments for their support and help. They have resolutely safeguarded the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens."
"The motherland provides us the strongest backing," Meng said. "As an ordinary Chinese person, I am proud of my motherland."
The crowd broke into an impromptu rendition of the patriotic song "Ode to the Motherland" after the speech. Meng then sang together with the crowd.
According to epidemic control rules, Meng will be quarantined at a designated hotel after her arrival.
Meng was arbitrarily detained by Canada on a U.S. extradition request on Dec. 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport.
Meng has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her and reached a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. prosecutors. The U.S. side has withdrawn its extradition request.