Was pro-Huawei news conference independent, or evidence of Beijing’s covert campaign to influence Canadians?

The chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei had barely been arrested last December — triggering a diplomatic scrap of historic scale between China and Canada — when an obscure B.C.-based group called an unusual Vancouver press conference.

With most Canadians still digesting the news of Meng Wanzhou’s detention, and the U.S. extradition request behind it, the United Association of Women and Children of Canada appeared before the cameras to demand the executive’s immediate release.