Canada risks worsening its already-fraught relationship with China, its second largest trading partner, if it extradites Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the behest of the United States, according to a former U.S. senator and ambassador to China.

“Canada’s in a really tough spot,” Max Baucus said in a television interview on BNN Bloomberg Wednesday.

“When Canada decided to honour the U.S. request to stop Meng Wangzhou and detain her, pending extradition to the United States, that obviously caused China to react adversely and of course China detained a couple of Canadian citizens. That standoff is going to continue for quite a while,” he said.

His comments come one week after Meng failed to persuade a British Columbia Supreme Court judge to end extradition hearings. They also come amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China over the fate of Hong Kong. And Huawei’s ambitions to be a player in Canada’s 5G network took a major hit Tuesday when BCE Inc.’s Bell division and Telus Corp. announced supply deals with the Chinese tech giant’s European rivals, Ericsson and Nokia.

“I hope, frankly, there’s a way to work this out so Meng is not tried in the U.S.,” Baucus said.

“Punish Huawei some other way. I frankly think that if she is extradited to the U.S., it’s going to cause a serious rift, a greater rift between the U.S. and China. It’s also going to cause a rift between Canada and China.”

BNN Bloomberg is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE.