China furious at Huawei executive's arrest in Canada

07 December, 2018, 08:14 | Author: Kathy Ellis
  • Asian markets tumble, China tech hit after Huawei arrest

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday said his government had no involvement in the arrest of a top executive from Chinese technology giant Huawei, who was detained at Vancouver airport.

According to Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, both the United States and Canadian authorities have yet to clarify their reason for a‌rres‌ti‌ng Meng.

He also said the USA government has been "concerned" about Huawei potentially stealing American intellectual property - an issue that's been a centerpiece of the U.S-China trade disputes.

"The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", China said in a statement on its Canadian embassy's website.

Meng Wanzhou is scheduled to appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing.

"At the request of the U.S. side, the Canadian side arrested a Chinese citizen not violating any American or Canadian law".

The U.S. has been investigating Huawei since 2016 for possible violations of export controls and U.S. sanctions related to Iran and other countries.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said then that China hoped the USA would refrain from taking actions that could further undermine investor confidence in the U.S. business environment and harm its domestic economy.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia called Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei a "threat to our national security" and urged Canada to exclude Huawei equipment from its 5G mobile phone network.

Canada must be careful not to damage its relationship with China, the report continues. "I think USA executives in the tech space should be afraid".

"So not respecting this particular arrest, but Huawei is one company we've been concerned about", he added.

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David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said United States and Canadianbusiness executives could also face reprisals in China.

The British bank HSBC is cooperating with USA authorities in its investigation, people familiar with the matter said Thursday. These include director of the worldwide accounting department, chief financial officer of Huawei Hong Kong and president of the accounting management department, the website said.

Huawei issued a statement saying Meng, also the company's deputy chairman and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained while changing flights in Canada, in order to face "unspecified charges" in NY.

One report in the New York Times said the USA commerce and treasury departments had subpoenaed the firm over suspected violation of sanctions against both Iran and North Korea.

The arrest is nearly certain to exacerbate tensions between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at a highly sensitive time.

A new settlement was reached and the ban lifted at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump, a perceived concession to Chinese President Xi Jinping that surprised and angered others in the U.S. government.

Huawei said in a statement that it had been provided with little information "about the charges" against Meng, who is also one of the vice chairs of its board and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei from his first marriage.

More than £56billion has been wiped off the value of Britain's biggest listed companies as United Kingdom stock markets suffered their worst day of trading since the Brexit vote. Markets are already incredibly nervous over slowing economic growth thanks to the inverted USA yield curve. Mr Trump was slated to raise additional tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 per cent to 25 per cent on 1 January.

Huawei said it complies with all laws and rules where it operates, including export controls and sanctions of the United Nations, the USA and European Union.

That view is being advanced by global security analysts and former diplomats, following the arrest on Saturday of Meng Wanzhou. Although markets were closed on Wednesday in honor of a memorial service for former President George H.W. Bush, the dip also came after a 799-point fall on Tuesday. Huawei is the world's biggest maker of equipment for cellular towers and Internet networks, and the company is the world's second most popular smartphone brand.

The New York Times meanwhile said that the company had been subpoenaed by the Commerce and Treasury Departments over alleged violations of Iran and North Korea sanctions. "I don't see the basis on which this could be quashed by Canada", he said. He declined to say whether it was in relation to sanctions against Iran.

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