Huawei arrest resonates
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.