China's Huawei finance chief arrested in Canada, faces extradition to US

07 December, 2018, 09:47 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • The reason for Wanzhou Meng's arrest was not immediately

Dow futures slide after the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada; Doug McKelway reports from the White House.

"The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference ... we were advised by them with a few days' notice that this was in the works", Mr Trudeau said.

A month later, Washington and Beijing reached a deal that would strike ZTE from the sanctions list - just days after China reportedly offered to ramp up purchases of USA goods to reduce the trade imbalance with the US.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", the embassy said in a statement.

The Chinese government said Meng had broken no USA or Canadian laws and demanded Canada "immediately correct the mistake" and release her.

"So not respecting this particular arrest, but Huawei is one company we've been concerned about", he said.

The Virginia Democrat said in a statement on the arrest that there's "ample evidence" to suggest Huawei is not independent of the Chinese government and Communist Party.

A user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform said Chinese should boycott products made by USA tech giant Apple Inc and instead buy Huawei products to show support for one of China's national champions. Huawei has said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the USA and European Union.

A spokesman for the U.S. justice department in the Eastern District of NY - which Huawei said had brought the charges - declined to comment.

Senator Ben Sasse earlier linked Meng's arrest to U.S. sanctions on Iran, which Trump is trying to squeeze economically after withdrawing from a denuclearization deal.

Despite being essentially barred from the critical U.S. market, Huawei surpassed Apple to become the world's number two smartphone maker in the second quarter of this year and has market leader Samsung in its sights. Either way, this is a huge escalation in the current turmoil between China and the US.

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Last month, New Zealand blocked a mobile phone company from using Huawei equipment, saying it posed a "significant network security risk".

"This reminds the Chinese, and ourselves, that we are part of an global order backed by the U.S". A Canadian Justice Department spokesman acknowledged Wednesday that law enforcement took her into custody at the request of the US, which is seeking her extradition for allegedly violating its sanctions on Iran.

Canadian authorities said Wednesday that they have arrested Meng for possible extradition to the United States.

Thus, the arrest of Meng - which apparently had been planned through coordination by both Canadian and USA authorities - was seen by many hawkish Chinese analysts as a sign that the US government does not really intend to suspend aggressive actions against China.

The Wall Street Journal in April reported that the US Department of Justice had opened an investigation into suspected breaches of Iran sanctions by Huawei.

The arrest comes at a sensitive time for US-China relations.

"I imagine that some Chinese are going to see this as the equivalent of a hostage-taking", he said. It remains privately held and describes itself as employee-owned, though its ownership structure is unknown.

Meng's arrest has "potentially huge implications" for the trade war and signals the United States government is willing to get tough on Chinese companies that do business with Iran, according to Michael Every, head of Asia-Pacific research at investment bank Rabobank.

"It really speaks to the depth of the Chinese concern in their economies and their desire to get the US-China relationship back on a more even keel", said Elizabeth Economy, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"The Chinese are likely to play tit for tat on this one and we should be ready for it", said Fen Hampson, the director of the global security program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation based in southern Ontario.



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