China urges Canada to release Huawei CFO Meng

Meng Wanzhou, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver in 2018 at the request of the US

FILE- In this Jan. 29, 2019, file photo, Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves her home to attend a court appearance in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada said Friday, March 1, 2019, it will allow the U.S. extradition case against Wanzhou to proceed. She is due in court on March 6, at which time a date for her extradition hearing will be set. Meng is wanted in the U.S. on fraud charges that she misled banks about the company's business dealings in Iran.   (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

China repeated its call on Monday for Canada to release detained Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou as soon as possible, ahead of the executive's first extradition hearing later in the day.

"The resolve of the Chinese government to protect Chinese citizens' proper legal rights is firm and unwavering," foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, told reporters during a daily briefing. He called Ms Meng's case a "serious political matter".

Ms Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on December 1, 2018, at the request of the US, where she is facing charges of bank fraud and accused of misleading HSBC about Huawei's business in Iran.

Ms Meng has said she is innocent and is fighting extradition.

Her arrest infuriated the Chinese government, which subsequently detained two Canadian citizens - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - on state security charges. International observers have called the cases against Kovrig and Spavor retaliation for Meng's detention.

Ms Meng is scheduled to appear in court for the first phase of her extradition hearing in Vancouver later on Monday.

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