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Canada PM will not remember the envoy to China over criticism on Huawei remarks

Picture of Canadian and Chinese flags taken before the meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and China's President Xi Jinping at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on December 5, 201

7 in Beijing. Fred Dufour / Pool via REUTERS

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that he would not recall the ambassador in Beijing who has been blown up by the opposition to say that a Chinese leader was held in Canada could make a good case against extradition to the US.

Opposition politicians accuse John McCallum of political interference in the case and insist that he be fired.

After Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd, Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou was arrested on a US warrant last month, China detained two Canadian men for national security reasons.

"Our focus is solely on getting the Canadians home safe … and making a change would not help release the Canadians one day before," Trudeau told reporters in New Brunswick when he asked if he would revoke or punish McCallum.

McCallum's comments on Chinese-language media released on Wednesday were the most explicit sign of a Canadian official that Meng might not be extradited.

"Canada will always remain a country where the rule of law is at the very heart of the legal system … which, of course, includes their ability to defend themselves," said Trudeau in television comments.

McCallum, as Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, has emphasized the importance of the long-term relationship with China. Before the dispute broke out last month, Ottawa had discussed the benefits of opening free trade talks with China.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by David Gregorio

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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