DEC. 1: Canada arrests Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company’s founder, at America’s request on a stopover at Vancouver airport. The U.S. is reported to be investigating Huawei’s use of a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. The same day, President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping meet in Argentina and announce a cease-fire in the U.S.-China trade war.
DEC. 6: A Chinese government statement says Meng broke no U.S. or Canadian laws and demands her immediate release. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has an independent judiciary that will decide Meng’s case “without any political involvement or interference.”
DEC. 8-9: China summons Canadian Ambassador John McCallum and U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad on successive weekend days to warn of “grave consequences” if Meng is not released and demand the U.S. cancel its order for her arrest.
DEC. 10: Two Canadians are detained separately in China in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who runs tours to North Korea, are taken into custody on suspicion of engaging in activities that endanger national security.
DEC. 11: Meng is released on bail of 10 million Canadian dollars (USD7.5 million), and Trump tells Reuters that he might intervene in her case “if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made.” Meng is required to wear an ankle monitor, surrender her passports and stay in one of her two Vancouver homes from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
DEC. 21: Canada makes a formal demand for the release of Kovrig and Spavor. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says “we are deeply concerned by the arbitrary detention by Chinese authorities of two Canadians earlier this month and call for their immediate release.”
JAN. 14: A Chinese court sentences Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death in a drug smuggling case, overturning his 15-year sentence from November. Trudeau suggests that China trying to pressure Canada and says that “all countries around the world” should be concerned about Beijing’s arbitrary use of its judicial system.
JAN. 15: China expresses strong dissatisfaction with Trudeau’s criticism of the death sentence. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says the Canadian leader should “respect the rule of law, respect China’s judicial sovereignty, correct mistakes and stop making irresponsible remarks.”
JAN. 16: Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, who is Meng’s father, tells foreign reporters that Huawei obeys the law, including export restrictions, wherever it operates. “We are sure there will be a just conclusion to this matter,” he says.
JAN. 22: China demands the U.S. withdraw its arrest warrant for Meng and not make an extradition request. Hua, the foreign ministry spokeswoman, says Canada’s extradition treaty with the U.S. infringes on the “safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.”
JAN. 24: Huawei announces plans for a next-generation smartphone that will use its own technology instead of U.S. components. It says the foldable fifth-generation device will be unveiled next month in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress, the industry’s biggest annual event.
JAN. 25: Trudeau fires Ambassador McCallum after the envoy is quoted saying it would be great for Canada if the U.S. drops its extradition request for Meng.
JAN. 28: The U.S. Justice Department unseals charges against Huawei, Meng and several of the companies’ subsidiaries, alleging not only violation of trade sanctions but also the theft of trade secrets. Meng is charged with misleading American banks about Huawei’s business with Iran.
JAN. 29: China’s foreign ministry says in a statement that Beijing will firmly defend its companies and urges the U.S. to “stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei.”