After a deal with the United States, a Huawei executive arrives in China.
Meng Wanzhou, a Huawei executive, returned to China on Saturday, shortly after two Canadians released from Chinese prisons landed in Calgary, bringing an end to a three-year diplomatic spat.
In a furious fight that opponents have dubbed “hostage diplomacy,” Meng and the two Canadians — former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor – were imprisoned.
After three years of house imprisonment in Canada while resisting extradition to the United States, Meng Wanzhou, the 49-year-old daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the wealthy founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, was granted parole in a Vancouver court hearing.
This happened just hours after US prosecutors announced an agreement to suspend and eventually dismiss fraud charges against her.
She then swiftly boarded a flight to Shenzhen, returning to China for the first time since being apprehended by US authorities at Vancouver’s international airport in December 2018.
According to a live stream on official broadcaster CCTV, Meng was greeted with a red carpet greeting as her jet landed, with Huawei employees waiting on the tarmac and a staffer in full protective gear holding a bouquet of flowers.
Meanwhile, the two detained Canadians returned to Calgary, western Canada, on Saturday and were met and hugged by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as shown on television.
The “two Michaels,” as they have been called by the media, were apprehended just days after Meng on “false” espionage accusations, according to Ottawa.
Beijing, for its part, referred to Meng’s case as a “purely political incident.”
“The US Government stands with the international community in welcoming the decision,” stated US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Meng told reporters before leaving for China, “My life has been turned upside down for the past three years.” As a mother, wife, and business executive, it was a trying time.”
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, said on Saturday that Meng’s detention constituted a “act of political persecution against a Chinese national.”
The case’s outcome resolves a significant thorn in Beijing’s, Washington’s, and Ottawa’s relationship, with China accusing the US of a political attack on one of its technology behemoths.
Beijing also accused Ottawa of acting on Washington’s orders by arresting and detaining Meng, who is known within Huawei as the company’s “princess” and a potential future leader.
She was charged with wire fraud and attempting to deceive the HSBC bank, according to Washington. Brief News from Washington Newsday.