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To Get Back Meng Wanzhou, China Uses a Hardball Tactic: Seizing Foreigners

  • September 25, 2021

Her attorneys argued that the case against her entailed an abuse of process, notably former President Donald Trump’s comment that he could intervene to secure a trade deal with Beijing.

“Trump made matters worse on several occasions by implying that Huawei could be simply another U.S. bargaining chip in the trade negotiations,” John Bolton, who had served as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, wrote in his memoir.

While the Canadian courts heard arguments, there were hints that Washington and Beijing were trying to find common ground.Negotiations between Ms. Meng’s team and the Justice Department began more than a year ago, said one person familiar with the Justice Department’s negotiations with her.

At the State Department, the two Canadians appeared to be a priority among human rights cases. When Wendy R. Sherman, the deputy secretary of state, attended talks in China in July, she “raised the cases of American and Canadian citizens,” the department said at the time.

Last week, President Biden held a telephone conversation with China’s leader, Xi Jinping. Neither side gave details, but Mr. Xi’s public comments suggested that he wanted to decrease tensions. The two sides, Mr. Xi said according to China’s official summary, should “bring China-U.S. relations back to the right track of stable development as soon as possible.”

Public resolution, though, may have been slowed by Canada’s recent election. The prime minister, Mr. Trudeau, reclaimed office in the election last week, though he failed to win a commanding majority in Parliament.

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