Huawei arrest: China demands release of Meng Wanzhou

McLeod says further details can not be provided on the case because a publication ban is in effect at Meng's request.

As reported by Bloomberg, tensions are back on the rise between the United States and China following the Canadian arrest of Huawei's global CFO, who is set to be extradited to the U.S. to face charges of violating Iran sanctions.

Former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper on the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng (Wanzhou)", it said. On Wednesday, China's embassy in Canada said it resolutely opposed the arrest and called for her immediate release.

The Chinese embassy in Canada responded to news of Meng's arrest by lodging stern representations against the U.S. and Canadian governments and calling for her immediate release. She was arrested December 1 after the U.S. Department of Justice in April opened an investigation into whether the telecommunications giant sold gear to Iran despite sanctions on exports to the region. Federal authorities said ZTE had violated American sanctions against Iran and North Korea, in a move that caused the Chinese company to cease "major operating activities" for a time.

According to Meng's official company biography, she joined the company in 1993 and also serves as deputy chairwoman of the board.

Although there are some waivers, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said the US will "aggressively" target any firm or organisation "evading our sanctions".

Eric Harwit, an Asian studies professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who has written extensively on Chinese telecoms, said the arrest was not just about sanctions violations but the bigger picture of the USA worrying about Chinese hi-tech firms becoming rivals to American companies in the future.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa had a few days' prior notice of the arrest of an executive from the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei following USA allegations the company violated sanctions on Iran.

While few details of the arrest have yet been released, the Canadian Justice Department has confirmed that Meng was sought for extradition by the US. Trump restored access after ZTE agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, replace its executive team and embed a US -chosen compliance team in the company.

Ye Tan, an independent Chinese economist, said Meng's arrest could be used as a "bargaining chip" in the trade talks.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and Internet companies, has previously been the target of USA security concerns.

Analysts have speculated that the executive's arrest was linked to alleged violations of US sanctions on Iran.

The arrest of a Chinese telecom executive in Vancouver is renewing fears of the communist government's ties to the cellular network giant.

The arrest will not help the 90-day tariff truce the nations agreed after President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met at the G20.

Founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei, a former People's Liberation Army engineer, Huawei has always enjoyed favorable treatment from a government that - like the USA - remains wary of employing too much foreign technology for vital communications.

The probation violation cited by the judge involves the same conduct the U.S. Department of Commerce penalized in April by imposing a ban on U.S. companies selling goods to ZTE.

This briefing was conducted alongside her father, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

Skycom tried to evade United States sanctions against Iran and sell Hewlett-Packard computers to the country's largest mobile phone operator in 2010. Meng is understood to still be in Canada where she has been held since her arrest on Saturday.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse praised the action and said that it was "for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran".

Vanessa Coleman

Comments