The United States on Friday defended the arrest of Chinese tech giant Huawei's chief financial officer, who was taken into custody by Canadian authorities on behest of the U.S. early this month.
State Department spokesman Robert Palladino called the arrest of Meng Wanzhou “legitimate” and said the trial is being conducted in a fair and transparent manner.
"Canada, a country governed by the rule of law, is conducting a fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Ms. Meng Wanzhou," Palladino said in a statement.
Meng was arrested on Dec. 1 by Canadian police at the request of American authorities while she was changing planes at Vancouver International Airport.
Washington accused Meng, who is also the daughter of Huawei’s founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei, of lying to U.S. financial institutions and using a shell company to do business with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
"Canada respects its international legal commitments by honoring its extradition treaty with the United States. We share Canada’s commitment to the rule of law as fundamental to all free societies, and we will defend and uphold this principle," said Palladino.
China and Huawei reject the claims, insisting that Meng has not broken any American or Canadian laws.
The high-profile arrest continues to pressure global markets as Meng’s bail hearing drags on in British Columbia, Canada.
Palladino also expressed deep concern over the Chinese government’s detention of Canadians earlier this month and called for their immediate release.
China detained a third Canadian national on Wednesday, giving no further details about the arrest.
By Umar Farooq in Washington