Trump administration put Canada in a 'very difficult situation,' Huawei VP says

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Almost two years after Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver at the request of U.S. authorities, the Chinese tech giant says it acknowledges Canada is under pressure from its southern neighbour to ban Huawei from its involvement in Canada's 5G networks. 

"We know the Trump administration put Canada in a very difficult situation," said Steve Liu, vice-president of public affairs and communications at Huawei Technologies. 

Meng was arrested on Dec. 1, 2018 following an extradition request from U.S. officials, who allege she violated sanctions on doing business with Iran. Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China days after her arrest. Chinese prosecutors charged both men with spying earlier this year.

Testimony for the executive's extradition hearing resumed in Vancouver this month and is set to continue next week.

In an interview airing Sunday on Rosemary Barton Live, Liu said the tech company respects "the rule of law in Canada."

Liu said he understood that the families of Kovrig and Spavor are hopeful for their return but added the same could be said of China's desire to see Meng released.

Canada yet to make call on Huawei tech

Canada is the only member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network yet to rule on whether Huawei equipment should be used in its 5G wireless networks. The U.K., New Zealand and Australia have followed the lead of the United States to block the use of the company's technology over security concerns.

On Wednesday, a Conservative motion passed in Parliament calling on the government to make a decision within the next 30 days. The Liberal government previously said it would postpone the decision until after the 2019 federal election.

Liu said the company is prepared to honour the government's final verdict. 

"If the decision is based on evidence, based on technology and based on cyber security, we will respect [it]," he said.

As for whether he thinks the U.S. will press on with extradition proceedings under president-elect Joe Biden, Liu said he only hoped the incoming administration would proceed after careful consideration of the evidence, truth and facts.