China asks Ottawa and Washington to provide clarifications after Huawei’s chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States.
“We demand from both sides that clarification be provided as soon as possible on the reason for this detention,” Geng Shuang, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Thursday.
China reiterated its demand for “immediate” release at a press briefing. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa was quick to denounce a situation violating the “human rights” of itsnational.
For now, Ms. Meng is in contact with the Chinese consulate in Canada, said Geng Shuang.
A clerk of the Supreme Court of British Columbia said that Wanzhou Meng had appeared the day before the court. A bail hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
The chief financial officer of the world’s leading smartphone and telecom equipment company was shut down on Dec. 1 as she made a stopover in Vancouver.
In a statement, Huawei said Ms. Meng was being extradited to face charges in New York East District Courts. The company claims to have no knowledge of wrongdoing on the part of its financial director.
The company […] is not aware of any mischief by Ms. Meng.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported that US authorities had been investigating since 2016 allegations that Huawei sent US goods to Iran and other countries, violating US export laws and sanctions. .
The US government then asked US telecommunications companies not to buy Chinese products, seeing Huawei as “a threat to the security of the United States.” He then invoked links between the company and “the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese security and intelligence services.”
Wanzhou Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder in 1987 , and former Chinese Army member Ren Zhengfei.
On November 23, the Wall Street Journal also revealed that US authorities had launched a campaign to dissuade mobile phone and Internet access companies in allied countries from using the equipment of the Chinese manufacturer for fear of giving Beijing access to confidential information.
US warnings coincide with the advent of 5G networks that will boost mobile and ultra-fast internet access and connect countless everyday objects.
Australia and New Zealand have already excluded Huawei from the deployment of 5G. They believe that “the involvement of suppliers likely to be subject to extrajudicial decisions by a foreign government” constituted a risk.
Trade negotiations in the background
The arrest threatens recent advances made between China and the United States, which have been leading a trade war for months.
The two powers agreed last Monday a truce of 90 days to find common ground , otherwise the US President Donald Trump has promised to raise again its customs fees on various Chinese products.
If the incident “should not” interfere with the bilateral talks scheduled for next week in Washington, it will help “affect the atmosphere of these discussions and reduce the chances of success,” says consulting firm Eurasiagroup, in a note.
The case “represents a major new escalation in US efforts to hold Chinese companies accountable for violations of US law, sometimes years old,” he adds.
Alex Carter is a Senior Editor at Seed Of Truth, based in Austin. Previously he has worked for FOX Sports and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” he is a graduate of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. You can reach Alex via email or by phone