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U.S. Will Ask Canada to Extradite Huawei Executive

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Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The United States plans to formally request within a week that Canada extradite a top Huawei executive to stand trial for charges related to violating American sanctions on Iran.

American officials say they will seek to have Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom firm Huawei who was detained in Canada on Dec. 1, sent to the United States. They have until Jan. 30 to make the request.

“We will continue to pursue the extradition of defendant Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and will meet all deadlines set by the U.S.-Canada Extradition Treaty,” Marc Raimondi, a Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate Canada’s continuing support in our mutual efforts to enforce the rule of law.”

The United States’ request would come as American and Chinese officials kick off a critical round of trade talks next week aimed at resolving a dispute that is already causing economic damage in both countries. The talks are expected to begin Jan. 30 in Washington, when a delegation led by Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, meets with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative.

American and Chinese officials have tried to portray the arrest of Ms. Meng as separate from the trade talks, which are taking place against a March 2 deadline set by President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China.

But the Trump administration has increasingly mixed talk of national security concerns related to Chinese businesses with its positions on trade. And American officials have tried to crack down on certain activities by Chinese telecom firms like Huawei, which is aiming to build next-generation cellular and data networks in countries worldwide.

[Read more: How Huawei wooed Europe with sponsorships, investments and promises.]

China has already expressed alarm about the detention of Ms. Meng, a Chinese citizen and a daughter of the founder of Huawei, whose arrest set off a diplomatic crisis involving the United States, Canada and China. Ms. Meng is currently living with her family at one of her homes in Vancouver. In December, a Canadian court ruled that Ms. Meng would not have to be held in jail, but said that the authorities could closely monitor her, and that certain parts of Vancouver were off limits.

A senior official with Global Affairs, the Canadian Foreign Ministry, said the Canadian government expects the United States to proceed with the request to have her brought to the United States to face charges that she lied to American banks about Huawei’s efforts to evade Iran sanctions. Ms. Meng was arrested Dec. 1 in a Vancouver airport as she was stopping over between China and Latin America, and the treaty says the United States must make a formal extradition request within 60 days of an arrest.

Once Canada gets the request, the process would move to the Canadian courts, which would determine whether…