Chinese executive jailed for weekend
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — A Canadian prosecutor urged a Vancouver court to deny bail to a Chinese executive at the heart of a case that is shaking up U.S.-China relations and worrying global financial markets.
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei and daughter of its founder, was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport last Saturday — the same day that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China agreed over dinner to a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that threatens to disrupt global commerce.
The U.S. alleges that Huawei used a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. It also says that Meng and Huawei misled American banks about its business dealings in Iran.
Meng will spend the weekend in jail after a Canadian judge said he needs to weigh her proposed bail conditions.
The surprise arrest, already denounced by Beijing, raises doubts about whether the truce will hold.
“I think it will have a distinctively negative effect on the U.S.-China talks,” said Philip Levy, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and an economic adviser to President George W. Bush. “There’s the humiliating way this happened right before the dinner, with Xi unaware. Very hard to save face on this one. And we may see (Chinese retaliation), which will embitter relations.”
Canadian prosecutor John Gibb-Carsley said in a court hearing Friday that a warrant had been issued Aug. 22 for Meng’s arrest in New York. He said Meng, arrested en route to Mexico from Hong Kong, was aware of the investigation and had been avoiding the U.S. for months, even though her teenage son goes to school in Boston.
Meng Wanzhou, right, CFO of Huawei Technologies, sits beside a translator during a bail hearing Friday.