China warned Canada on Saturday that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release a top executive of Huawei Technologies, calling the case “extremely nasty.”
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the United States, where she is accused of covering up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.
Ms. Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder.
If extradited to the United States, Ms. Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday, with a maximum sentence of 30 years for each charge. No decision was reached at the six-hour extradition hearing, and it was adjourned until Monday.
In a short statement, China’s Foreign Ministry said that Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng had issued the warning to release Ms. Meng to Canada’s ambassador in Beijing, summoning him to lodge a “strong protest.”
Canada’s arrest of Ms. Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Mr. Le said.
Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday that there was “nothing to add beyond what the minister said yesterday.”
Ms. Freeland told reporters on Friday that Canada’s relationship with China was valued, and that the country’s ambassador in Beijing had assured the Chinese that Ms. Meng would have access to her consulate.
The news of her arrest has roiled stock markets and drawn condemnation from Chinese authorities, although Mr. Trump and his top economic advisers have played down its importance to trade talks after the two leaders agreed to a truce.
A Huawei spokesman said on Friday that the company had “every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach the right conclusion.” The company has said it complies with all sanctions and other regulations.