Huawei CFO ar­rested in Canada China urges Canada, US to ‘clar­ify’ the rea­son for ar­rest

Millennium Post - - Mp World -

OT­TAWA: A top ex­ec­u­tive and daugh­ter of the founder of Chi­nese tele­com gi­ant Huawei has been ar­rested in Canada and faces ex­tra­di­tion to the United States, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day, an­ger­ing Bei­jing days into a trade war truce with the US.

The de­ten­tion of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer, comes af­ter Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties re­port­edly launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into sus­pected Iran sanc­tions vi­o­la­tions by Huawei, which was al­ready un­der scru­tiny by US in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials who deemed the com­pany a na­tional se­cu­rity threat. The ar­rest stirred ten­sions just as the United States and China agreed to a cease­fire in their trade spat while ne­go­tia­tors seek a deal within three months.

China on Thurs­day urged Canada and the United States to “clar­ify” the rea­son a se­nior Huawei ex­ec­u­tive had been de­tained in Van­cou­ver.

“We have made solemn rep­re­sen­ta­tions to Canada and the US, de­mand­ing that both par­ties im­me­di­ately clar­ify the rea­sons for the de­ten­tion, and im­me­di­ately re­lease the de­tainee to pro­tect the per­son’s le­gal rights,” for­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told a reg­u­lar press brief­ing.

News of her de­ten­tion rip­pled through stock mar­kets in Asia, par­tic­u­larly Shang­hai and Hong Kong, with tech firms among the worst hit. By lunch Shang­hai was 1.3 per cent lower while Hong Kong was 2.6 per cent off.

“China is work­ing cre­atively to un­der­mine our na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, and the United States and our al­lies can’t sit on the side­lines,” US Sen­a­tor Ben Sasse in a state­ment link­ing the ar­rest to US sanc­tions against Iran.

“Some­times Chi­nese ag­gres­sion is ex­plic­itly state-spon­sored and some­times it’s laun­dered through many of Bei­jing’s so­called ‘pri­vate’ sec­tor en­ti­ties that are in bed with (Pres­i­dent) Xi (Jin­ping)’s com­mu­nist party,” he added.

Meng was ar­rested in the western city of Van­cou­ver on De­cem­ber 1, Canada’s min­istry of jus­tice said in a state­ment.

The min­istry said the US is seek­ing her ex­tra­di­tion and she faces a bail hear­ing on Fri­day, adding it could not pro­vide fur­ther de­tails due to a pub­li­ca­tion ban that was sought by Meng, whose fa­ther, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, is a for­mer Chi­nese

Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army en­gi­neer.

The ar­rest oc­curred on the same day that US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Xi struck the trade war truce at a sum­mit in Ar­gentina.

China’s em­bassy in Ot­tawa de­manded Meng’s re­lease.

“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 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 Ms Meng Wanzhou.”

‘Huawei com­plies with all ap­pli­ca­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions where it op­er­ates, in­clud­ing ap­pli­ca­ble ex­port con­trol and sanc­tion laws and reg­u­la­tions of the UN, US and EU,’ the com­pany said in a state­ment

Huawei said it was un­aware of any wrong­do­ing by Meng and was pro­vided “very lit­tle in­for­ma­tion” about the charges.

“Huawei com­plies with all ap­pli­ca­ble laws and reg­u­la­tions where it op­er­ates, in­clud­ing ap­pli­ca­ble ex­port con­trol and sanc­tion laws and reg­u­la­tions of the UN, US and EU,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

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

The New York Times said the com­pany had been sub­poe­naed by the Com­merce and Trea­sury De­part­ments over al­leged vi­o­la­tions of Iran and North Korea sanc­tions.

Huawei is not the first Chi­nese tele­coms equip­ment firm to face the ire of US au­thor­i­ties.

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