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Huawei Executive Welcomed Back By China, But Country Silent On Freed Canadians

Huawei Executive Welcomed Back By China, But Country Silent On Freed Canadians
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the world's largest telecom equipment maker giant Huawei, was welcomed back to the "motherland" on Saturday after spending more than 1,000 days under house arrest in Canada on what the Chinese media termed baseless allegations of bank fraud.
They have remained mute, however, on Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians who were freed from a Chinese prison in an evident gesture of reciprocity by Beijing.
The Chinese official television CCTV broadcasted a message made by the Huawei executive as her jet sailed over the North Pole, bypassing US airspace.
Meng described her eyes as "blurring with tears" as she reached "the hug of the big homeland." "I would not have the freedom I have today without a strong homeland."
Meng was detained in Vancouver in December 2018 following the issuance of an arrest warrant by a New York court, alleging that she had attempted to conceal attempts by Huawei related firms to supply hardware to Iran in violation of US sanctions.
She was eventually allowed to leave Canada and return back to China on Friday, following over two years of a legal battle with US authorities. 
Huawei, which was established by Meng's father, Ren Zhengfei, said in a statement that it "looked forward to seeing Ms. Meng return home safely to be reunited with her family." It has stated that it will continue to defend itself against US allegations.
Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were held by Chinese officials only days after Meng's detention, were freed a few hours later, according to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
On Saturday, the Chinese government's state news agency Xinhua publicly confirmed the end of Meng's house imprisonment, crediting her release to the "unrelenting efforts of the Chinese authorities."
"International relations have fallen into chaos" as a result of Meng's "painful three years", Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times tabloid backed by the ruling Communist Party, wrote on Twitter.
He added, "No arbitrary detention of Chinese people is allowed."
However, neither Hu nor other media outlets have covered Spavor and Kovrig's discharge, and there have been very few comments on China's Twitter-like Weibo social media site about their release.
The Chinese foreign ministry has not made any public statements.
On previous occasions,  China has denied participating in "hostage diplomacy," claiming that the arrest and imprisonment of the two Canadians had nothing to do with Meng's extradition procedures.
Spavor was condemned to 11 years in prison in August after being charged with sending pictures of heavy weaponry to Kovrig. Kovrig was still awaiting his sentencing.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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