Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says trading two Canadians jailed in China for the top Huawei executive held under house arrest in Canada on a USA extradition request would put millions of Canadians at risk. China has repeatedly denied that the arrest of the two men was a retaliatory move and formally charged them with spying earlier this month.
Meng's case - based on fraud charges connected to her alleged violation of American sanctions on Iran - has launched middleweight Canada into the ring with two heavyweights: the US and China.
Soon after Meng was arrested, Beijing detained two Canadians, entrepreneur Michael Spavor and former diplomat Michael Kovrig, on allegations of undermining China's national security.
"We can not allow political pressures or random arrests of Canadian citizens to influence the functioning of our justice system", he said.
The US insists that Meng Wanzhou misinformed the banks about the nature of the company's relations with other firms, which maintained business operations in Iran, with the White House alleging that these firms were essentially the Chinese tech giant's subsidiaries and not just business partners.
Trudeau said he completely disagrees with the letter-writers because bending to Beijing would imperil the millions of Canadians travelling throughout the world in normal times. "He has tried precisely nothing to improve Canada's position to give us more leverage and to show the government of China that there are consequences to mistreating Canadians", Scheer said.
Last month, a Canadian judge declined to invalidate a request from the U.S. for her extradition, saying that Meng's interpretation of "the double criminality analysis would seriously limit Canada's ability to fulfil its global obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes".
A letter to Trudeau signed by 19 former Canadian politicians and diplomats urges that Meng be freed in a bid to win the discharge of the detained Canadians.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trudeau rejected the notion out of hand.
"Canada has an independent judiciary, and those processes will unfold independently of any political pressure, including by foreign governments", Trudeau said.
Trudeau's comments come in the face of rising pressure from all corners - including within his own party. "So I respect these individuals, but they're wrong". The prime minister added that it would be "absolutely unacceptable" to dance to Beijing's tunes. His statement comes in response to the publication of excerpts from his upcoming memoir about working in the Trump administration.
On day four, I would find some small mistake Meng Wanzhou had made in terms of her bail and throw her in jail.
The group said releasing Meng would not only free Kovrig and Spavor from "grave risk" and the high likelihood of being convicted, but also allow Canada to re-establish a policy regarding China free of the current dispute.
-With assistance from Natalie Obiko Pearson.