Anger mounts in China over arrest of Huawei executive amid US-China feud
Chinese state-run media on Friday condemned the arrest in Canada of a top executive of telecoms giant Huawei on a US extradition request as a “despicable rogue’s approach” to contain Chinese high-tech ambitions.
The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO and daughter of the company’s founder, has angered the Chinese government and raised concerns that it could disrupt a trade war truce between the world’s two biggest economies.
Canada defended the arrest on Thursday, saying there was no political motivation, and a senior adviser to US President Donald Trump denied it was linked to US-China trade talks.
But Chinese media cast the move as an assault on the development of the country’s high-tech industry.
“The Chinese government should seriously mull over the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China’s high-tech enterprises,” the nationalist tabloid Global Times said in an editorial.
“Obviously, Washington is resorting to a despicable rogue’s approach as it cannot stop Huawei’s 5G advance in the market,” it said.
The China Daily warned that “containing Huawei’s expansion is detrimental to China-US ties”.
US authorities have not disclosed the charges she faces following a publication ban sought by Meng, but “one thing that is undoubtedly true and proven, is the US is trying to do whatever it can to contain Huawei’s expansion in the world simply because the company is the point man for Chi- na’s competitive technology companies,” the daily said.
China has lodged diplomatic protests over the arrest and has repeatedly asked the US and Canada to clarify the reasons for it.
“In the past seven days, be it Canada or the US, neither has provided any evidence of the involved party breaking the law in either country,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
Meng’s arrest follows a US probe into the company’s al- leged violations of Iran sanctions.
Though China’s technology sector is still reliant on certain US exports like microchips, Beijing wants to transform the country into a global tech leader in a plan dubbed “Made in China 2025”.
Huawei is one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment and services providers.
But its US business has been tightly constrained by worries it could undermine American competitors and that its cellphones and networking equipment, used widely in other countries, could provide Beijing with avenues for espionage.
Australia, New Zealand and Britain have followed suit in 2018 by rejecting some of the company’s services over security concerns.
Japan also plans to ban government use of telecom products made by Huawei and Chinese tech firm ZTE.
Earlier in 2018, ZTE almost collapsed after Washington banned US companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for seven years, though the ban was lifted after it agreed to pay a $1bn (about R14bn) fine.
Some analysts say Meng’s arrest could be used as a bargaining chip, but White House trade adviser Peter Navarro denied it was linked to the USChina trade negotiations.
But CNN, quoting an unnamed official, said that the US saw the arrest as providing leverage in trade talks.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also denied “any political involvement or interference” in Meng’s arrest. –
Australia, New Zealand and Britain have followed suit this year by rejecting some of the company’s services over security concerns