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Angry China asks Canada to release Huawei’s CFO

Angry China asks Canada to release Huawei’s CFO

China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday demanded the immediate release of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer at Huawei Technologies, who was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States.
The ministry also asked the US to clarify why it had requested authorities to detain Meng, who is also deputy chair of Huawei’s board and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei. She was detained last week as she changed planes in
Meng is facing extradition to the United States, where prosecutors in New York are investigating whether Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran, according to the Wall Street Journal. 
Ministry spokesman Geng Shuan said Meng had been provided consular assistance in Canada and said her detention amounted to a human rights violation. “China asked Canada to effectively protect the safety, humanitarian treatment and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens. A detention without giving clear reasons, I think it surely violates the human rights of the person,” he told reporters in Beijing. 
Canada’s Justice Department said earlier that a bail hearing had been set for Friday but did not disclose further details due to a publication ban.
Huawei, the world’s largest maker of cellular-tower electronics and other telecommunications equipment, said it had been provided with “very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Meng.”
Asian shares fell sharply on Thursday following the news of Meng’s arrest. Hong Kong’s Han Seng Index plunged 2.47 per cent while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 1.91 per cent after losing as much as 2.79 per cent.
It is unclear how Meng’s detention will impact an apparent thaw in US-China relations following the G20 summit at the weekend.  On Sunday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump pledged to bring an end to the trade war that erupted in July.  The Trump administration, however, has put pressure on Canada and other allies not to use Huawei equipment in their new 5G telecommunications networks.
In October, in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner expressed “grave concerns” about the possibility of Chinese government interference in Canada’s telecommunications network.
On Wednesday, British telecoms group BT confirmed that it would not buy equipment from Huawei.
Australia banned Huawei and Chinese chipmaker ZTE from building their 5G network in August, citing security concerns, while last month New Zealand’s GCSB spy agency banned mobile-operator Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade.
Huawei has previously denied it has breached US sanctions, saying it complies with all applicable laws and regulations, “including the applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.”
If found guilty of violating US sanctions, it could face a similar fate to ZTE, which was investigated by US authorities for selling US-origin products to Iran and North Korea.  In April, the US banned domestic companies from selling to ZTE for seven years, although it later rolled back the ban in July after the company agreed to pay 1.4 billion dollars in fines.


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