China exec’s ar­rest boosts trade war fears

Ledger-Enquirer - - Stay Connected - BY ED­WARD WONG New York Times


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.

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