Meng was scheduled to appear in a Canadian court on Friday for a bail hearing, where the charges against her are expected to be made public for the first time.
After that, Meng will likely “either agree to the extradition or decide to fight it,” said Serafini. “If she fights it, it could be a considerable amount of time before she ever sets foot on U.S. soil,” he said. This phase of the prosecution would take place entirely in a Canadian court, Serafini said, “and the Canadian court would make a final determination.”
During that time, Serafini said, “there will likely be steps taken by the Canadians to ensure that she can’t leave the country. But she’s not likely to remain behind bars.”
Meng’s extradition process will be separate from whatever charges she faces in the United States, Serafini explained.
“Before she could strike a deal on the U.S. charges, she would need to be before an American court,” he said. Nonetheless, “this doesn’t preclude the possibility of back-channel talks between the U.S. and China about her case.”
But even as China publicly protests Meng’s detention, privately, Beijing has to decide whether to tie the fate of the trade negotiations to the fate of one Chinese executive, said Daly.
“China may delay trade negotiations to express its displeasure, but it can’t take that approach for long if it wants a resolution,” he said.
“Watch the way the Meng story plays out in the Chinese press and on WeChat,” he said, referring to China’s version of Twitter. “Beijing can either staunch or stoke public opinion. If Chinese propaganda organs play up the Meng story, Beijing is linking Meng’s arrest and the trade dispute. If the Chinese media and netizen response is muted, Beijing wants to handle the negotiations and the Huawei issue on separate tracks.”