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Washington, D.C. – In a resolution introduced this week, Congressmen Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), Lead Republican and Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, commended Canada for upholding the rule of law regarding the extradition of Huawei Technology’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou, and expressed their concern with China’s retaliatory and hostile actions against Canadian citizens.

Wanzhou was detained in Canada on serious charges in December 2018, and now awaits extradition to the United States to stand trial. The charges brought against her include bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, among others. China has subsequently carried out politically-motivated detention and punishment of Canadian citizens.

“China’s hostage diplomacy is abhorrent,” Lead Republican McCaul said. “Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor have been detained since last year without charge and have been subjected to harsh conditions such as limited consular access, no attorney representation, and lengthy interrogations. Meanwhile, Ms. Wanzhou has received proper treatment in Canadian custody, with all her legal, health, and other needs attended to, and is currently released on bail. The cases show the stark contrast between Canada’s commitment to the rule of law and China’s. I commend Canada and regret that Canadian citizens are paying the price of China’s malfeasance. The Chinese Communist Party’s aversion to fair treatment does not disqualify them from abiding by it. Canada’s citizens must be released immediately.”

“It’s deeply troubling that Beijing would unjustly detain Canadian citizens in retaliation for Canada’s decision to extradite a suspected criminal to the United States,” Chairman Engel said. “In recent months, the Chinese have flouted international law by encroaching into the Vietnamese exclusive economic zone. They’ve twisted arms to dampen global criticism of their outrageous human rights abuses in Xinjiang. And now they’re using the shameful tactic of hostage diplomacy to express their displeasure. These aren’t the actions of a responsible power, but of a bully. I urge the Trump Administration to work closely with our Canadian allies to urge the Chinese government to immediately release these detained Canadian citizens and allow them to return home.”

McCaul and Engel’s resolution:

  • Commends the Government of Canada for upholding the rule of law and complying with its international legal obligations, including those pursuant to the Extradition Treaty Between the United States of America and Canada, signed at Washington December 3, 1971;
  • Commends the Government of Canada for providing consular access and due process for Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou;
  • Expresses concern over the Government of the People’s Republic of China’s apparent arbitrary detention and abusive treatment of Canadian nationals Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig in apparent retaliation for the Government of Canada’s detention of Meng Wanzhou; and
  • Joins the Government of Canada in calling for the immediate release of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig and for due process for Canadian national Robert Schellenberg.

Correction: The original version of this press release incorrectly identified the detained citizens as Canadian officials instead of citizens. We regret this error.