BEIJING: The release of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou shows China's strength and Canada should "draw lessons", China's foreign ministry said on Monday (Sep 27), after state media called it an opportunity for a reboot of bilateral relations.
Meng landed in Huawei's home city of Shenzhen aboard a government-chartered plane on Saturday to much fanfare, ending her near three-year US extradition fight, the same day two Canadians detained by Beijing shortly after Meng's 2018 detention returned home.
Meng's return is the result of the "unremitting efforts" of the Chinese government and ruling Communist Party as well as the support of all Chinese people, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular daily briefing.
"Justice may be late, but it will be there in the end," Hua said according to an APTN transcript of the briefing, adding that the party and government will "resolutely" protect its citizens, companies, and interests.
The two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who had been imprisoned on espionage accusations, left China within hours of Meng's release from house arrest.
The cases involving the Canadians were "completely different" from Meng's, which was a case of "political persecution", Hua said.
"We note that after learning relevant information, many Canadian media also believed that Meng's case is simply out of all selfish political interest and has no rule of law," Hua added.
"The Canadian side should not have done the dirty work for the US, and should instead draw a lesson from it and act in line with its own interest."
Hua also called Meng's detention a "serious mistake" by the US and Canada, which should have been "corrected long ago".
Canada had called the arrest of Kovrig and Spavor an act of "hostage diplomacy", a characterisation China repeatedly denied.
The Global Times late on Sunday said that Kovrig and Spavor had "confessed their guilt" and were released on bail for medical reasons before departing China.
Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced to 11 years in jail in August. Kovrig had been awaiting sentencing.
Meng's release was an opportunity to improve relations with Canada and the United States but "toxic political rhetoric" could still "poison the atmosphere", China's Global Times tabloid said earlier on Monday.
"The relaxation of positions by both sides is a positive but limited development in China-US relations and is less than significant in the big scheme of things," said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University.
"There is no indication that Washington is going to soften on the trade war," Shi said. "I don't see China immediately relaxing trade restrictions against Canada either."
Meng was allowed to go home after reaching an agreement with US prosecutors on Friday to end a bank fraud case against her.