Meng, the daughter of Huawei co-founder Ren Zhengfei, is facing extradition to the U.S. to answer charges of fraud, and is due to appear in court later today for a decisive and highly anticipated hearing.
Her lead defence lawyer Richard Peck argued in court on Monday that Canada is effectively being asked "to enforce USA sanctions", according to AFP.
The first phase of the trial will last at least four days, but legal experts previously said it could be years before a decision on Meng's extradition is made since Canada's slow-moving justice system allows many decisions to be appealed.
The defence counters that Canada does not have the same sanctions against Iran, so any banks working with Meng would not have fallen foul of restrictions.
The United States has charged her with bank fraud, and accused her of misleading HSBC Holdings Plc HSBA.L about Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's [HWT.UL] business in Iran.
"Would we be here in the absence of USA sanctions law?" he asked. He noted Canada has refused to impose similar sanctions against Iran. "In our respectful submission, the response is No". Beijing has detained two Canadians and restricted some imports including canola, moves that are widely seen as retaliation.
China's foreign ministry complained Monday the United States and Canada were violating Meng's rights and called for her release.
Lawyers for Canada's attorney general, on behalf of the USA, have argued in court documents that Meng's alleged misrepresentations put HSBC at risk of economic loss and are sufficient to make a case of fraud in Canada.
Since her arrest Meng has been living in a mansion in Vancouver's Shaughnessy neighborhood, among some of the most expensive real estate in the country. She wore a black polka dot dress and took notes in court with the help of a Mandarin interpreter.
The case has severely strained relations between Canada and China.
Her husband Liu Xiaozong listened in the courtroom gallery.
"We will operate in good faith", he told reporters before the meeting.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Monday that Canada should also correct its mistake, Reuters reports.
Liberal MP Rob Oliphant, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs, said government MPs on the committee want to work constructively with the opposition.
A decision to extradite Meng would undermine the double criminality rule and the values it protects, including the liberty of the person sought and Canada's autonomy as a sovereign state, Peck added.
Soon after Meng's arrest, China detained two Canadians - former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor - and handed over the cases of to a prosecutor in China in early December a year ago.
If the judge decides the legal test of double criminality has not been met, Meng will be free to leave Canada, though she'll still have to stay out of America to avoid the charges.
Meng's legal team will call evidence in the last week of April, and the second phase, focusing on abuse of process and whether Canadian officials followed the law while arresting Meng, will begin in June.
Meng, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested at Vancouver International Airport on December 1, 2018, at the request of the US.