China urges re­lease of Huawei ex­ec­u­tive

▶ De­ten­tion by Canada lacks ev­i­dence: FM

Global Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Chen Qingqing See also Pages 4, 14, B6

Chi­nese of­fi­cials are urg­ing the US and Canada to clar­ify why Meng Wanzhou, a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies, has been de­tained and to im­me­di­ately re­lease her, slam­ming the ar­rest as a vi­o­la­tion of her rights.

Ex­perts said on Thurs­day that Meng’s de­ten­tion is a move by the US to heat up the on­go­ing trade war be­tween China and the US.

Meng, who is Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer and the daugh­ter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was de­tained as she was trans­fer­ring flights in Canada, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by Huawei, one of China’s tech gi­ants.

Meng’s de­ten­tion was made fol­low­ing a re­quest by the US, which is seek­ing her ex­tra­di­tion on as yet un­spec­i­fied charges made by pros­e­cu­tors in the East­ern Dis­trict of New York, a Huawei spokesper­son told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

“China has de­manded that the US and Canada im­me­di­ately clar­ify the rea­sons for Meng’s de­ten­tion and to re­lease her,” Geng Shuang, spokesper­son of China’s Min­istry of For­eign

Af­fairs, told a daily press brief­ing on Thurs­day.

He noted that Chi­nese con­sular of­fi­cials in Canada have al­ready pro­vided as­sis­tance to Meng.

Meng’s de­ten­tion, made without any clearly stated charges, is an ob­vi­ous vi­o­la­tion of her hu­man rights, said Geng.

The Chi­nese Em­bassy in Canada also said on Thurs­day morn­ing that it firmly op­poses and has made strong protests over the ac­tion which has se­ri­ously cur­tailed the rights of a Chi­nese ci­ti­zen.

“The Chi­nese side has lodged stern rep­re­sen­ta­tions with the US and Cana­dian side, and urged them to im­me­di­ately cor­rect the wrong­do­ing and re­store the per­sonal free­dom of Meng Wanzhou,” the Chi­nese Em­bassy in Canada said in a state­ment pub­lished on its web­site.

A Cana­dian source with knowl­edge of the ar­rest was quoted in the Cana­dian news­pa­per Globe and Mail on Thurs­day as say­ing that US law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties al­lege that Huawei vi­o­lated US sanc­tions against Iran but pro­vided no fur­ther de­tails.

Al­though Meng’s de­ten­tion stems from terms of the US-Canada ex­tra­di­tion treaty, the US should not be tak­ing such le­gal ac­tion without pro­vid­ing concrete ev­i­dence, es­pe­cially when it has been try­ing to re­store re­la­tions with China, Hao Junbo, a Bei­jing-based lawyer, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

Chi­nese of­fi­cials and ex­perts crit­i­cized the US for its long-arm ju­ris­dic­tion, which not only hurts in­di­vid­u­als but also en­ter­prises.

Ris­ing ob­sta­cles

Huawei has been tar­geted by the US for many years, from patent in­fringe­ment law­suits to po­lit­i­cal pres­sure, Xi­ang Li­gang, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the tele­com in­dus­try news site cc­, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

“As the Chi­nese com­pany grew stronger, it faced more ob­sta­cles in for­eign mar­kets as it is con­sid­ered as a threat to lo­cal play­ers,” he said.

Cisco Sys­tems filed the first law­suit against Huawei in 2003. Mo­torola filed a law­suit ac­cus­ing Huawei of theft of trade se­crets in 2010, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports. The com­pany also faced in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the US Congress on se­cu­rity is­sues.

Since at least 2016, US au­thor­i­ties have been prob­ing Huawei’s al­leged ship­ping of US-ori­gin prod­ucts to Iran and other coun­tries in vi­o­la­tion of US ex­port and sanc­tions laws, Reuters re­ported in April.

The US also asked its ma­jor al­lies to say ‘no’ to Huawei equip­ment, as it was wor­ried about al­leged po­ten­tial Chi­nese med­dling in 5G net­works, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported on Novem­ber 23.

While the com­pany faces ris­ing dif­fi­cul­ties in the US mar­ket, it has been ac­tively ex­plor­ing other mar­kets such as the EU and Africa.

It be­came the world’s largest tele­com equip­ment provider in 2017, sur­pass­ing Eric­s­son and ZTE, in­dus­try web­site tele­com­ re­ported in March, cit­ing IHS data.

Huawei has a 28 per­cent mar­ket share in the global tele­com in­fra­struc­ture in­dus­try, fol­lowed by Eric­s­son and Nokia, which have 27 per­cent and 23 per­cent re­spec­tively, said the re­port.

Es­ca­lat­ing trade war

The US will not stop coun­ter­ing China’s rise in the tech­nol­ogy sec­tor and will never drop its hos­til­ity to­ward China’s “Made in China 2025” strat­egy, Wang Yan­hui, head of the Shang­haibased Mo­bile China Al­liance, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

“Huawei has be­come an­other card for the US to play against China in the on­go­ing trade war,” he said.

China and the US an­nounced a trade truce fol­low­ing a meet­ing be­tween the two coun­tries’ top lead­ers in Buenos Aires on Satur­day.

But ex­perts warned that China should be pre­pared for a long-last­ing and heated trade war with the US, as it will con­tinue to at­tempt to counter China’s ris­ing power.

“The lat­est Huawei in­ci­dent shows that we should get ready for long-term con­fronta­tion be­tween China and the US, as the US will not ease its stance on China and the ar­rest of a se­nior ex­ec­u­tive of a ma­jor Chi­nese tech com­pany is a vivid ex­am­ple,” Mei Xinyu, a research fel­low with the Bei­jing-based Chi­nese Academy of In­ter­na­tional Trade and Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion, told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

Huawei said there is very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion about spe­cific al­le­ga­tions and that the com­pany is not aware of any mis­con­duct by Meng.

“The com­pany com­plies with all laws and reg­u­la­tions in the coun­tries in which it op­er­ates, in­clud­ing ex­port con­trol and sanc­tions laws ap­plied in the UN, the US and the EU,” Huawei said.

Photo: AP

A pro­file of Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Meng Wanzhou is dis­played on a Huawei com­puter at a Huawei store in Bei­jing on Thurs­day. China de­manded Meng’s im­me­di­ate re­lease af­ter she was ar­rested by Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties fol­low­ing an ex­tra­di­tion re­quest by the US.

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