Donald Trump has said he would consider intervening in the case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou if it would be in the interest of US national security and help forge a trade deal with China.
Mr Trump told the Reuters news agency that if he thinks it would be good for what will “certainly be the largest trade deal ever made” he would intervene if necessary.
A Canadian court granted Ms Meng bail on Tuesday. She had been arrested at the United States’ request in a case that has set off a diplomatic furore among the three countries and complicated high-stakes US-China trade talks.
Hours before the bail hearing in Vancouver, China detained a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in apparent retaliation for the December 1 arrest of Ms Meng, chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of the company’s founder.
After three days of hearings, a British Columbia justice granted bail of 10 million Canadian dollars (£6 million) to Ms Meng, but required her to wear an ankle bracelet, surrender her passports, stay in Vancouver and its suburbs and confine herself to one of her two Vancouver homes from 11pm to 6am.
She left the courthouse late on Tuesday surrounded by security and was driven away in a black car without responding to questions from reporters.
Amid rising tension between China and Canada, a former Canadian diplomat was detained in Beijing after China warned Canada of consequences for Ms Meng’s arrest.
Michael Kovrig, who previously worked as a diplomat in China and elsewhere, was taken into custody by the Beijing Bureau of Chinese State Security on Monday night during one of his regular visits to Beijing.
Earlier in the day, China vowed to “spare no effort” to protect against “any bullying that infringes the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens”.
Washington accuses Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of US sanctions. It says Ms Meng and Huawei misled banks about the company’s business dealings in Iran.
US State Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters in Washington “the charges against Meng pertain to alleged lies to United States financial institutions” about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran.
Ms Meng has denied the US allegations through her lawyer in court, promising to fight them if she is extradited to face charges in the US.
“We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach a just conclusion in the following proceedings,” Huawei said in a statement.
“As we have stressed all along, Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries and regions where we operate, including export control and sanction laws of the UN, US, and EU. We look forward to a timely resolution to this matter.”
The US and China have tried to keep Ms Meng’s case separate from their wider trade dispute and suggested on Tuesday that talks to resolve their differences may resume.
But Mr Trump undercut efforts to distinguish between trade talks and the Huawei case in his interview with Reuters.