Chinese embassy demands release of Huawei CFO arrested in Canada

The logo of the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is seen
outside its headquarters in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.
Tyrone Siu, Reuters/File

SHANGHAI – China’s embassy in Canada criticized Canada and the
United States on Thursday for wrongfully arresting a senior
executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and demanded her
immediate release.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, is
facing extradition to the United States and her arrest could
rekindle tensions between Washington and Beijing only days
after they agreed to a ceasefire in a bitter trade war.

Meng was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1. Her arrest is related to
violations of US sanctions, a person familiar with the matter
said. Reuters was unable to determine the precise nature of the
violations.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada said
that it resolutely opposes Meng’s arrest and demands her
immediate release.

“The Canadian police, at the request of the United States,
arrested a Chinese citizen who had not violated any US or
Canadian law,” the embassy said in a short statement on its
website.

“China has already made solemn representations to the United
States and Canada, demanding they immediately correct their
wrong behavior and restore Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s freedom.”

A court hearing has been set for Friday, a Canadian Justice
Department spokesman said.

Meng is one of the vice chairs on the Chinese technology
company’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren
Zhengfei. Huawei is strategically important to China’s
ambitions in technology from 5G networks to chips.

Western governments are increasingly wary of what they say is
possible Chinese state involvement in fifth-generation mobile
and other communications networks. Huawei has insisted Beijing
has no influence over the company.

Huawei’s smaller rival ZTE Corp had to temporarily halt much of
its business earlier this year after the US imposed an export
ban on the company related to it illegally shipping US-origin
goods to Iran and North Korea.

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