China's ambassador to Canada says the arrest by Canadian authorities of a Huawei Technologies executive was an act of "backstabbing" by a friend and he warns of repercussions if Canada bars the company from its new 5G network for security reasons.
In a rare interview with Canadian journalists Thursday, Chinese Ambassador Lu Shaye also warned Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau against recruiting international support in Canada's feud with China. He says it would be a bad idea for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to use the upcoming World Economic Forum summit in Davos to press that case.
The arrest of Chinese executive Meng Wanzhou while she was traveling through the Vancouver airport Dec. 1 created a growing diplomatic rift. Meng is the chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the daughter of its founder. The U.S. wants her extradited on fraud charges.
China detained two Canadians shortly after her arrest in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release her.
China has rejected the Canadian foreign minister's statement that Chinese detentions of Canadians pose a threat to all countries.
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday that Canada instead poses a threat to Chinese by detaining a Chinese citizen for "no reason." She was referring to the arrest of a Chinese telecoms executive at the request of the United States.
China detained two Canadians shortly after the executive's arrest in what Western analysts see as an attempt to pressure Canada to release her.
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said earlier this week that "the arbitrary detentions of Canadians ... represent a way of behaving which is a threat to all countries."
Hua said Freeland may have spoken without thinking, and that such remarks won't help settle the issue.