Huawei ar­rest res­onates

Herald Sun - - WORLD -

THE dra­matic ar­rest of a Chi­nese telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ex­ec­u­tive has driven home why it will be so hard for the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion to re­solve its deep­en­ing con­flict with China.

In the short run, the ar­rest of Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer height­ened scep­ti­cism about the trade truce that pres­i­dents Don­ald Trump and Xi Jin­ping reached last week­end in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina.

But the ar­rest of an ex­ec­u­tive for a Chi­nese com­pany that’s been a sub­ject of US na­tional se­cu­rity con­cerns car­ries echoes well be­yond tar­iffs or mar­ket ac­cess.

Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing are locked in a clash over which of the world’s two largest economies will com­mand eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal dom­i­nance for decades to come.

“It’s a much broader is­sue than just a trade dis­pute,” said Amanda De­Busk, chair of the in­ter­na­tional trade prac­tice at Dechert LLP. “It pulls in: who is go­ing to be the world leader, essen­tially.”

The Huawei ex­ec­u­tive, Meng Wanzhou, was de­tained by Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties in Van­cou­ver as she was chang­ing flights on Satur­day — the same day that Mr Trump and Mr Xi met at the Group of 20 sum­mit in Ar­gentina and pro­duced a cease­fire in their trade war.

The Globe and Mail news­pa­per, cit­ing law en­force­ment sources, re­ported that Ms Meng was sus­pected of try­ing to evade US sanc­tions on Iran.

She faces ex­tra­di­tion to the US, and a bail hear­ing was set for last night.

Huawei, the world’s big­gest sup­plier of net­work gear used by phone and in­ter­net com­pa­nies, has long been seen as a front for spy­ing by the Chi­nese mil­i­tary or se­cu­rity ser­vices, whose cy­ber-spies are widely ac­knowl­edged as highly skilled.

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