China exec’s arrest boosts trade war fears
As President Donald Trump was arranging a trade truce with President Xi Jinping of China over dinner Saturday night in Buenos Aires, Argentina,, his administration was coordinating the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive who was flying through Canada.
White House officials, including national security adviser John Bolton, who attended the dinner with Trump and Xi, knew of the impending arrest. So did a leading Senate Republican and Democrat. But it is unclear whether Trump knew of the arrest. And Xi apparently never was told at the dinner.
The detention is a boon to administration officials trying to limit the global spread of Chinese technology, especially equipment that poses security risks, and to enforce sanctions with Iran. But the move threatens to upend sensitive talks to resolve a trade war.
Global markets fell Thursday amid intensified concerns about an emerging cold war between the United States and China, a sign the 90-day trade truce announced by Trump and Xi would not quickly produce an end to the trade war.
The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei and daughter of its billionaire founder, was the culmination of a monthslong investigation by a New York office of the Justice Department into whether the flagship Chinese company had violated Iran sanctions, U.S. officials said. She was detained Saturday while in transit in Vancouver, British Columbia, at the request of the United States, which wants her extradited.
The arrest came as a surprise to the Chinese government, which is calling for her immediate release.
“To detain someone without giving clear reason is an obvious violation of human rights,” Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, said Thursday.