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WASHINGTON, March 7 (Reuters) - The Republican and Democratic leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee introduced legislation on Thursday backing Canada’s handling of Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, as the United States seeks her extradition.
Senators Jim Risch, the committee’s Republican chairman, and Bob Menendez, its ranking Democrat, introduced the resolution backing Canada for “upholding the rule of law.”
“Canada has provided consular access and due process for Ms. Meng,” Risch said in a statement. “It is only right for the Senate to join Canada in expressing concern over arbitrary detention and mistreatment of Canadian nationals by the Chinese government.”
China on Monday accused detained Canadian citizen Michael Kovrig of stealing state secrets passed on to him from another detained Canadian, businessman Michael Spavor, in a move likely to increase tension between Ottawa and Beijing.
Huawei has sued the U.S. government, saying a law limiting its U.S. business is unconstitutional, ratcheting up its fight against a government bent on closing it out of global markets.
Huawei CFO Meng is accused by the United States of bank and wire fraud related to breaches of trade sanctions against Iran. Canada approved extradition proceedings on March 1, but Meng has since sued Canada’s government for procedural wrongs in her arrest. The next court hearing is set for May 8. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Nick Zieminski editing by Jonathan Oatis and Steve Orlofsky)