China de­mands Canada re­lease Huawei ex­ec­u­tive

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - BUSINESS -

China on Thurs­day de­manded that Canada re­lease an ex­ec­u­tive of Chi­nese tech gi­ant Huawei who was ar­rested in a case that com­pounds ten­sions with the U.S. and threat­ens to com­pli­cate trade talks.

Meng Wanzhou, chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer of Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Ltd., faces pos­si­ble ex­tra­di­tion to the United States, ac­cord­ing to Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties. The Globe and Mail news­pa­per, cit­ing law en­force­ment sources, said she is sus­pected of try­ing to evade U.S. trade curbs on Iran.

Huawei, the big­gest global sup­plier of net­work gear used by phone and in­ter­net com­pa­nies, has been the tar­get of deep­en­ing U.S. se­cu­rity con­cerns. Un­der Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his pre­de­ces­sor, Barack Obama, Wash­ing­ton has pres­sured Euro­pean coun­tries and other al­lies to limit use of its tech­nol­ogy.

The U.S. sees Huawei and smaller Chi­nese tech sup­pli­ers as pos­si­ble fronts for spy­ing and as com­mer­cial com­peti­tors. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion says they ben­e­fit from im­proper sub­si­dies and mar­ket bar­ri­ers.

The tim­ing of the ar­rest is awk­ward fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment of a U.S.Chi­nese cease-fire in a trade war that has its roots in Bei­jing’s tech­nol­ogy pol­icy. Meng was de­tained in Van­cou­ver on Satur­day, the day Trump and Xi Jin­ping met in Ar­gentina and an­nounced their deal.

U.S. na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser John Bolton told NPR that he knew of the pend­ing ar­rest in ad­vance. He de­clined to talk about the specifics of the case and said he didn’t know if Trump knew about be­fore it hap­pened but added that there has been enor­mous con­cern about the prac­tice of Chi­nese firms like Huawei al­legedly us­ing stolen U.S. in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. He said that would be a ma­jor sub­ject of ne­go­ti­a­tions with China.

Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau said he was given a few days ad­vance no­tice of the in­ten­tion of Cana­dian au­thor­i­ties to ar­rest her but said it was the de­ci­sion of law en­force­ment and there was no po­lit­i­cal in­ter­fer­ence.

“I can as­sure ev­ery­one that we are a coun­try of an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary and the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties took the de­ci­sions in this case without any po­lit­i­cal in­volve­ment or in­ter­fer­ence,” Trudeau said.

Stock mar­kets tum­bled on the news, fear­ing re­newed U.S.-Chi­nese ten­sions that threaten global eco­nomic growth. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.5 per­cent and the DAX in Ger­many sank 1.8 per­cent.

As­so­ci­ated Press

China on Thurs­day de­manded Canada re­lease a Huawei Tech­nolo­gies ex­ec­u­tive whose ar­rest threat­ens to com­pli­cate trade talks.

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