China Demands Release of Telecom Executive Arrested in Canada

The reason for Wanzhou Meng's arrest was not immediately clear.					WANG ZHAO  AFP  Getty Images

"I think because of the super-delicate phase that we're at in terms of U.S". The opening salvos of what Beijing has called "the largest trade war in economic history" were fired in July, when the U.S.

The U.S., on the other hand, could be primed to take its trade battle with China to a new level, as opposed to the slap on the wrist previous Chinese infractions within its borders have received.

USA markets were closed on Wednesday because of the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush but resumed their downward move on Thursday following the Meng arrest.

They're involved in the development of these networks around the world, BBC journalist Will Bain told us.

Meng's arrest has "potentially huge implications" for the trade war and signals the U.S. government is willing to get tough on Chinese companies that do business with Iran, according to Michael Every, head of Asia-Pacific research at investment bank Rabobank. He said that would be a major subject of negotiations with China.

The details of the charges against her remain unknown after she sought a publication ban, which was granted by the Canadian judge.

"We'll see more cases like this over the next three months, sanctioning China's state-owned enterprises and individuals, to boost momentum on the U.S. side", Liu Weidong, a China-U.S. affairs expert from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told South China Morning Post. "The potential slowdown in global growth is also something the markets are pricing in".

About 25 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had fallen two percent, around 500 points, to 24,528.26.

"We have made solemn representations to Canada and the United States, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person's legal rights", ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing.

Hours later, at a regular press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang maintained this strong stance.

"The threat from these companies lies in their access to critical internet backbone infrastructure", she said.

But the Ministry of Commerce signaled that Beijing wants to avoid disrupting progress toward settling a dispute with Washington over technology policy that has led them to raise tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods. The White House said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump did not know about the extradition request before his dinner with Chinese President Xi Jingping in Argentina at the recent G20 summit.

According to Huawei's website, Meng joined the company in 1993, obtained a master's degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1998, and rose up the ranks over the years, mostly holding financial roles.

The US has also restricted US firms from selling parts to Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua.

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Huawei is one of the largest tech companies in the world, but it has been under pressure in nations like the U.S., U.K., and Australia for allegedly doing the bidding of the Chinese government.

"The incident could turn out to be a breaking point", Zhu said.

In January 2013, Reuters reported that Hong Kong-based Skycom Tech, which attempted to sell embargoed Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran's largest mobile-phone operator, had much closer ties to Huawei than previously known. The company was banned in August from working on Australia's high-speed 5G network. Reuters published an investigation nearly six years ago about her and Huawei's ties to a company call Skycom that tried to sell Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to an Iranian mobile-phone operator, in contravention of those sanctions. US authorities have not disclosed circumstances surrounding Meng's arrest, but a person familiar with the matter told Reuters the arrest relates to violations of USA trade sanctions. Huawei has repeatedly denied this. "Huawei has direct ties to the Chinese government and Communist Party, has long posed a serious risk to US national security".

The agency is seeking comments through Friday on how that proposed rule fits with defence legislation signed in August that bars spending on "loans or grants" and specifically targets Huawei and ZTE Corp.

A similar ban on Huawei would have a bigger impact because its equipment is more widely used.

She is facing extradition to the United States on USA suspicions that Huawei violated sanctions against Iran by providing that country with telecommunications equipment.

"The company has been provided very little information regarding the charges and is not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng".

In April, the sources told Reuters the U.S. Justice Department probe was being handled by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn.

In a statement, it said it had complied with "all applicable laws and regulations where it operates, including applicable export control and sanction laws and regulations of the UN, US and EU".

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

Geng said the USA and Canada haven't provided reasons for Meng's detention.

China, Russia and Saudi Arabia are among the countries with no US extradition treaties.

Meng is not only the chief financial officer of Huawei but the daughter of the tech giant's founder, Ren Zhengfei.

She was arrested while changing flights on Saturday.

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