More than two years ago, Meng was arrested at Vancouver International Airport under a US arrest warrant and charged with bank and telegraph fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC in 2013 about his work with telecom equipment maker Huawei.
The extradition tragedy, which has dragged on for years, has been a major source of increasingly angry relations between Beijing and Washington, and Chinese officials have indicated that the case must be ended to help end the diplomatic stalemate. The Reuters On Friday, it reported in exclusive news that the United States had reached a deferred indictment agreement with Meng. A few hours after news of the settlement emerged, two Canadian citizens arrested shortly after Meng’s arrest in December 2018 were released from Chinese prisons and were already on their way to Canada. Beijing has denied that their arrests are related to each other. Thus, after nearly a thousand days, Michael Kovrig, a former Hungarian citizen, and Canadian businessman Michael Spavor can return home.
Because of the deal, US President Joe Biden has also been criticized by Chinese critics of Washington’s policy, who say his government is giving in to Beijing and one of its flagship companies, Huawei. It’s the latter that hurts: Donald Trump, as the boss at the heart of the global tech rivalry between the two countries, has taken drastic measures as president to curb the company’s global expansion.
By concluding the agreement, Brooklyn US Attorney Nicole Buckman said, “Meng took responsibility for his primary role in perpetrating a scheme to deceive a global financial institution.” The agreement applies only to Meng, and the US Department of Justice has said it is preparing to file a lawsuit against Huawei and is waiting for its case to be proven in court.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for the release of Meng or the Canadians. Similarly, Huawei has not commented on the move.