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US knew Canada would arrest China Huawei's CFO: John Bolton

US National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks at a press briefing at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 27, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton has acknowledged the threats posed by Chinese mobile giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, saying he knew that Canada was planning to arrest its top finance executive, Meng Wanzhou, after she arrived in the country to take part in a tech conference.

"I knew in advance. This is something that we get from the Justice Department," Bolton told National Public Radio, media reported on Thursday.

He said he was not sure whether Trump -- who had described a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the same day Meng was arrested, as "amazing and productive"  -- was also aware.

Trump and Xi, who were in Argentina for a summit of the Group of 20 major economies, had agreed to set up negotiations to discuss US concerns over China's trade barriers.

In turn, Trump agreed to hold off on raising tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods starting in the new year.

"These kinds of things happen with some frequency. We certainly don't inform the president on every one of them," he said about the arrest coinciding with the meeting.

Bolton also declined to discuss specifics over Meng's arrest, saying it was a matter for law enforcement.

"But we've had enormous concerns for years," Bolton said, "about the practice of Chinese firms to use stolen American intellectual property, to engage in forced technology transfers, and to be used as arms of the Chinese government's objectives in terms of information
technology in particular."

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

Huawei has recently become the world’s second largest manufacturer of smart phones, after Samsung.

The company plays a leading role in developing technology for transferring data needed in equipment for the future in everything from smart city sensors to self-driving cars.

However, the US and its security partners in the Five Eyes security alliance -- comprising of the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom -- see the Chinese tech company as a real security risk, arguing that cyber technology could be used for spying against them by the Chinese government.

After Meng's arrest, US Senator Ben Sasse said Americans were "grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer."

He told Associated Press that China was aggressively engaged in undermining US national security interests, often creating significant security risks by "using private sector entities."

Sasse claimed China was "working creatively to undermine our national security interests, and the United States and our allies can't sit on the sidelines."

Meanwhile, Huawei, which has utmost importance for Beijing, has portrayed itself as a private company with limited links to the Chinese government. If Huawei were to be described as the crown of the private sector tech companies, Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei's founder, might be described as the jewel, or heiress, of the royal crown.

One analyst said Meng's arrest would be seen in Beijing as a “dirty political trick” against the Chinese on behalf of the US government. 

Author and columnist Einar Tangen said in an interview with Press TV on Thursday that the arrest will do damage to the torrid Sino-American relations.

He said that Chinese officials would register the move as another attempt by the Americans to hobble a major Chinese enterprise. 


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