Exactly two years to the hour after Canadian authorities detained Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport, China’s top diplomat in British Columbia and two subordinates visited the Huawei CFO at her $13.6 million mansion.
Chinese state-affiliated Phoenix Television was there Dec. 1 to capture images of Consul-General Tong Xiaoling emerging from her chauffeured Mercedes Benz to greet Meng and her husband, Xiaozong Liu, with gifts.
A statement issued by the consulate said Tong, Deputy Consul General Wang Chengjun, and Consul Hu Qiquan “went to Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s residence to visit and offer condolences.”
The clip aired by Phoenix on its Dec. 2 newscast shows the greeting by the curb of 1603 Matthews Drive in posh Shaughnessy. It does not show where they went next.
“Taking into account the current situation of the new crown epidemic in British Columbia, visits are conducted outdoors, and relevant personnel are strictly in accordance with local epidemic prevention regulations, take personal protective measures and maintain social distance,” said the consulate statement.
However, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, banned residents Nov. 7 from hosting social gatherings of any size at their homes with anyone that does not live in the same dwelling.
“Do not invite friends or extended family to your household, do not host gatherings outdoors,” said the B.C. Ministry of Health website.
Tong’s statement reiterated the Chinese government’s support for Meng’s freedom and repeated the accusation that Canada is an accomplice of the U.S., which concocted an incident “to suppress Chinese high-tech enterprises and obstruct the development of China’s science and technology.”
The Trudeau Liberal government has not decided whether to join the U.S. and U.K., which have banned Huawei’s 5G technology for national security reasons. Canada’s major telecoms have opted for other suppliers.
Meng’s mansion is, coincidentally, two doors down from the mansion of the U.S. Consul General to Vancouver.
“We will continue to provide you with adequate consular protection. We hope you will strengthen your belief in victory, protect yourself against the epidemic, and maintain your physical and mental health,” Tong said.
On Nov. 30, China’s Ambassador to Canada, Cong Peiwu, phoned Meng to “express cordial condolences,” according to a statement on the embassy website.
Meanwhile, a small group of protesters sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party gathered 2.4 kilometres away, outside the office of a Liberal Party of Canada cabinet minister.
The Free Meng Wanzhou rally, co-ordinated by a Surrey neo-Maoist group called Red Braid Alliance for Decolonial Socialism, waved signs at vehicles passing the office of Joyce Murray. Murray, who was not at her office, is the member of parliament for Vancouver-Quadra. Murray maintains a presence on WeChat, where a supporter last May used the platform to raise money to sue a journalist after an expose about the Communist Party manipulating the world’s medical supplies market during the early days of the pandemic.
Meng lives under an 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew with local travel limitations in the Metro Vancouver area and wears an anklet to keep her from fleeing the country. She was released on $10 million bail Dec. 10, 2018.
Meng’s extradition hearings resume Dec. 7. Her team of defence lawyers is alleging the RCMP and Canadian Border Services Agency infringed on her rights when she was arrested Dec. 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport on request of the United States government. U.S. authorities want to try Meng on charges she defrauded HSBC in a bid to subvert sanctions against Iran.
Next week is the second anniversary of the arbitrary arrests of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. China took them hostage in retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
Unlike Tong’s visit to Meng, Canadian media outlets are not invited to the Chinese jails where the Two Michaels are held.
Canada’s Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, was granted what Global Affairs Canada described as “on-site virtual access” to Spavor on Nov. 10 and Kovrig Nov. 19. China claims they are spies, but they have not appeared before a judge.
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