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Beijing has always insisted that there was no connection between Meng’s detention in December 2018 and the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor 10 days later.

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Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were released under a side deal to the deal that allowed U.S. prosecutors to resolve criminal charges against Huawei chief Meng Wanzhou.

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The file has been “very active” in recent weeks, with the Canadian government operating “very closely with the Americans” on the matter, said an official, who was not authorized to speak officially.

It is understood that the US government’s deal with Meng included a consideration that covered both Michael’s.

On Friday evening, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulated officials and diplomats for the work done to secure the release of the two men.

When asked if this has changed relations with China, Trudeau said, “At the moment, our focus is on getting these Canadians back home safely. They went through a difficult ordeal. “

Beijing has always insisted that there was no connection between Meng’s detention at Vancouver Airport under an extradition warrant in December 2018 and the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor 10 days more late.

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While the Chinese regard the Meng case as “a serious political incident,” they say that Kovrig and Spavor are guilty of crimes against China’s national security. The two men have been detained for more than 1,000 days. Chinese Ambassador to Ottawa Cong Peiwu called Meng’s detention “an obstacle to good relations” with China.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou smiles as he leaves his home in Vancouver on Friday, September 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Darryl Dyck
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou smiles as he leaves his Vancouver home on Friday, September 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Darryl Dyck

Meng has been charged with bank and electronic fraud for allegedly misleading HSBC about Huawei’s transactions in Iran.
His extradition case ended in August and a decision was set for October 2. British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Heather Holmes ruled last month that new evidence that appeared to undermine the case against Meng was inadmissible in the extradition case, including internal HSBC documents released. . suggest that the bank acted with full knowledge of Huawei’s subsidiaries and the history of the company.

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It is not clear whether the United States struck a deal with Meng because it recognized it could lose the case, or whether it sees his release as an opportunity to reconcile with China. Some January reports indicated that the Americans were considering a deferred prosecution deal, but in February, the Wall Street Journal reported that talks had stalled.

The Trudeau government has long placed its hopes in the Biden administration, ruling out any intervention in Justice Minister David Lametti’s Meng case or an offer to swap prisoners. Trudeau said Canada would not engage in hostage diplomacy.

Instead, the Prime Minister raised the issue with Joe Biden at the G7 in the UK in June. The US President and his Secretary of State Antony Blinken have urged the Chinese to release Kovrig and Spavor, but there has been no clear connection to the Meng case.

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  1. Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, Michael Kovrig, top left, and Michael Spavor.

    Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are “on their way home”: Trudeau

  2. Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou leaves home to attend a hearing in Vancouver on August 16, 2021.

    Judge Closes Meng Extradition Case With Reserve Decision

David Cohen, the US Ambassador-designate to Ottawa, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday that “in the case of the two Michaels and the arbitrary detention (Canada) has been very frank and the United States has been very supportive “.

However, Cohen indicated that the United States would like Ottawa to take a tougher line on China in the future.

“I think we are all waiting for Canada to release its framework for its comprehensive China policy,” he said. “I think as an ambassador, if I am confirmed, it is an appropriate role to be engaged in discussions to ensure that Canada’s policies reflect his words, in terms of the treatment of China,” and that we improve collaboration and co-coordination between our two countries to confront the existential threat that is China.

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With additional reporting from Anja Karadeglija

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