Wanzhou is at the centre of allegations that Huawei, a Chinese telecom company has used a shell company known as Skycom to do business with Iran, defying U.S. sanctions. Wanzhou and Huawei deny these allegations.
The United States alleges Wanzhou, the daughter of Wanzhou founder, has been avoiding travel to America ever since she learned of investigations into her business dealings. But when Wanzhou landed in Vancouver and tried to pass Canadian customs she was arrested by the RCMP, as the U.S. had filed proceedings for an extradition request with Canada.
Now, a high-stakes game of politics has broken out with allegations of espionage and covert surveillance operations is playing out. A lot of agencies are thought to be monitoring the situation including the C.I.A, the RCMP, and agents of China’s powerful Ministry of State Security, which protects China’s national interests and conducts intelligence operations in foreign lands.
China’s reaction to Wanzhou’s arrest was quick and fierce. The Chinese government detaining two Canadians on national security charges.
Extradition requests from the United States are a standard, daily occurrence usually handled by the Department of Justice Canada, however not many cases have as much political implications as this one.
Canada is currently considering whether to take further action, such as issuing travel advisories for China, a source said. A B.C. trade mission to China has already been cancelled, and on Friday, federal Tourism Minister Melanie Joly reversed her position from Thursday, deciding to postpone a trip to China
President Donald Trump has weighed in on the case saying he would use Wanzhou’s arrest to improve the United State’s negotiation power with China. Not only does this undermine the rule of law but also will likely anger the Chinese government and give them more ammunition.
The United States has two months from the d arrest to provide Canada with its formal extradition request and supporting documents. Canada's Justice Department then has a month to decide whether to give the go-ahead for a hearing in which the request is weighed by a judge. Whatever happens, the process of experdition will likely take months to decide. Wanzhou is back in court February.