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Beijing summons US ambassador over Huawei CFO’s arrest

Photo Credit: Nikkei Asian Review
The Huawei official’s arrest can threaten to derail the recent truce in the trade war between the US and China
by TR Pakistan

The Chinese government summoned the United States’ (US) ambassador in Beijing on Sunday to lodge a protest over the detention of Huawei Technologies chief financial officer (CFO) Meng Wangzhou — who is also the daughter of the company’s founder — in Canada at the behest of the US government.

The arrest comes right after a truce was reached in a trade war between between the US and China.

Wangzhou was detained last week while changing flights in Vancouver. Prosecutors allege that the CFO had committed fraud by lying about links between Huawei and a non-trading company used to sell telecommunications equipment to Iran in violation of American sanctions.

The Chinese government had earlier lodged complaints with Canada and the US on Thursday over the incident.

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A report in Xinhua — a Chinese state-run press agency — has quoted Chinese vice-foreign minister Le Yucheng terming Wangzhou’s detainment as “extremely egregious”, demanding that the orders for her arrest be cancelled, adding that Beijing would take further steps based on Washington’s response.

Meanwhile, the Huawei CFO has argued that she should be let out on bail because she suffers from hypertension. She also asserted in a sworn affidavit that she is innocent of all charges against her, adding that she would contest them in trial in the US if she is surrendered there.

Huawei is considered the biggest global supplier of telecommunication equipment worldwide. Recently, it has been the target of increasing security concerns from Washington due to its ties to Beijing and how the company’s equipment could be used to spy on other countries.

The US is not alone in this regard. On Friday, the European Union’s Digital Market Commissioner Andrup Ansip said the Huawei CFO’s arrest raised concerns in Europe as well.

“The next question is, do we have to be worried about Huawei or other Chinese companies? Yes, I think we have to be worried,” he said at a press briefing.

Similarly in Japan, press reports have been released stating that the government may cancel purchases from Huawei and ZTE Corp.

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