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Arrest of Huawei executive US 'despicable rogue' action: China media

Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, attends a session of the VTB Capital Investment Forum "Russia Calling!" in Moscow, Russia October 2, 2014. (Photo by Reuters)

China has reacted furiously after a top executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei was arrested in Canada on a US extradition request.

Huawei's chief financial officer and the daughter of its founder, Meng Wanzhou, 46, was nabbed during a stopover at Vancouver airport on a US extradition request, on Saturday.

Beijing accused Washington of using the “hooliganism” to suppress the telecom giant, threatening to rattle a shaky truce in the trade war between the two countries.

The arrest was announced by Canadian authorities on Wednesday.

The charges against the company's chief financial officer have not been made public. Huawei said it was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng".

She is to appear in court Friday for a bail hearing.

English language newspaper, China Daily, said in an editorial on Friday that the arrest was part of efforts by Washington to contain the company, which is the world’s largest telecoms equipment provider, as well as its second-largest mobile phone maker.

An illustration shows a journalist reading a news page about tech giant Huawei in The Globe and Mail in Montreal, Canada, December 6, 2018. (photo by AFP)

“Obviously, Washington is resorting to a despicable rogue's approach as it cannot stop Huawei's 5G advance in the market," it said.

The daily warned that "containing Huawei's expansion is detrimental to China-US ties."

“One thing that is undoubtedly true and proven is the US is trying to do whatever it can to contain Huawei’s expansion in the world simply because the company is the point man for China’s competitive technology companies,” the editorial said.

China called on both Washington and Ottawa to immediately clarify the reasons for Meng’s detention, and release her immediately.

China’s embassy in Canada has described the actions as having “seriously harmed human rights.”

Canada distances itself from Meng arrest

Canadian Prime Minister Minister Justin Trudeau, however, sought to distance himself from the unusual incident, saying on Thursday that his government had no involvement in Meng’s detention.

In televised remarks in Montreal, he claimed that politics played no part in the arrest of Meng.

"The appropriate authorities took the decisions in this case without any political involvement or interference ... we were advised by them with a few days' notice that this was in the works," he said.

Meng’s shocking arrest came at the same day US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping met at the G20 summit in Argentina, during which they reached an agreement to temporarily suspend a trade war.

Her arrest is now threatening the fragile truce that was reached after months of tough negotiations over import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of products.

Trump did not know about Meng arrest: White House

In an apparent move to prevent the incident from impeding the trade truce, two US officials said on Thursday that Trump did not know about a US request for her extradition from Canada before he met Xi in Argentina.

Citing the officials, Reuters said that while it was a Justice Department matter and not orchestrated in advance by the White House, the case could send a message that Washington is serious about what it sees as Beijing's violations of international trade norms.

One of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the arrest could complicate efforts to reach a broader trade deal with China, but would not necessarily damage the process.

Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier that he “knew in advance,” that Canada was planning to arrest Meng. “This is something that we get from the Justice Department.”

The Chinese Global Times also wrote in a separate editorial on Friday that they “believe that the US government, like China, is willing to end the trade war. It just wants to get as many conditions as it can. This is a highly sensitive process in which the negotiating teams of both sides struggle.”

The arrest has already triggered stock markets turmoil in the United States and Europe.

Japan plans to ban government purchase of Huawei

Huawei, one of the world's largest telecommunications equipment and services providers, was accused by some western governments of espionage. The United States and some of its allies, say Beijing will gain access to fifth-generation (5G) mobile and other communications networks through Huawei and expand its spying ability.

The firm, however, denies such claims.

Australia, New Zealand and Britain have rejected this year some of the company's services over what they describes as security concerns.

Japanese media also reported on Friday that Tokyo was effectively going to ban government purchases of telecommunications products from Huawei and Chinese tech firm ZTE over “fears of intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.”

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it was seriously concerned over Japan’s decision in following the US government moves.


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