Huawei arrest: China demands Canada free Meng Wanzhou

Dec 09, 2018, 01:01
Huawei arrest: China demands Canada free Meng Wanzhou

If extradited to the US, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud numerous financial institutions, a Canadian court heard on Friday.

Major companies have expressed concerns about how the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of us authorities would affect U.S.

The lawyer said that Meng had personally denied to American bankers any direct connections between Huawei and SkyCom, when in fact "SkyCom is Huawei".

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's global chief financial officer, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1, detained on a US warrant while en route from Hong Kong to Mexico via Canada.

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House's National Economic Council, told CNBC he did not believe Meng's arrest would "spill over" into the talks with China aimed at increasing Beijing's purchases of US farm and energy commodities, lowering Chinese tariffs and making sweeping changes to China's policies on intellectual property and technology transfers.

The chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies was arrested in Canada on Saturday Dec. 1 2018
The chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies was arrested in Canada on Saturday Dec. 1 2018

The news of Meng's arrest has roiled global stock markets on fears it could escalate a trade war between the United States and China after a truce was agreed last week between President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping.

The companies all declined to comment or did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Huawei complies with all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU.

Yesterday's court hearing is meant to decide on whether Meng can post bail or if she is a flight risk and should be kept in detention.

He suggested that Meng has shown a pattern of avoiding the US since becoming aware of the investigation into the matter, has no ties to Canada and has access to vast wealth and connections - and thus poses a flight risk.

Canada's arrest of Meng at the request of the United States while she was changing plane in Vancouver was a serious breach of her lawful rights, Le said.

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"You can rely upon her personal dignity", he said, adding that to breach a court order "would be to humiliate and embarrass her father, who she loves".

He also alleged that there is evidence Meng has avoided the US since she became aware of a criminal investigation into her activities. Until then, she will remain in custody.

Chinese Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Friday that neither Canada nor the United States had provided China any evidence that Meng had broken any law in those two countries, and reiterated Beijing's demand that she be released.

Chinese state media have argued that the United States was abusing the law to hurt Huawei's worldwide reputation.

An editorial from the state-run Global Times says, among other things, that the U.S. is acting like a "despicable rogue" and that the arrest - which is ostensibly related to a suspicion of violating Iran trade sanctions - is a way for the USA to kept Huawei's growth in check. Ms Meng is said to have concealed and misrepresented links between Huawei and Skycom from banks, implicating them in the violation of USA and European sanctions as they cleared transactions for Huawei.

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In 2007, a management company controlled by Huawei's parent company held all of Skycom's shares.

"The Chinese government should seriously mull over the United States tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China's high-tech enterprises", said the nationalist tabloid Global Times in an editorial.

A prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States for allegedly deceiving financial institutions about the relationship between Huawei and another tech company, SkyCom, based in Hong Kong, that is alleged to have sold USA -manufactured technology to Iran, in violation of US trade sanctions.

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