Date
18 January 2019
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is accused of covering up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions. Photo: Reuters
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is accused of covering up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions. Photo: Reuters

China says US should withdraw arrest warrant for Huawei CFO

China’s foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador to lodge a “strong protest” over the arrest in Canada of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s chief financial officer, and said the United States should withdraw its arrest warrant, Reuters reports.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s global chief financial officer, was arrested in Canada on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the US, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.

Meng, 46, argued in court that she should be let out on bail while awaiting an extradition hearing due to severe hypertension and fears for her health while incarcerated in Canada.

Meng is the daughter of the founder of Huawei.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told US ambassador Terry Branstad on Sunday that the US had made an “unreasonable demand” on Canada to detain Meng while she was passing through Vancouver, China’s Foreign Ministry said.

“The actions of the US seriously violated the lawful and legitimate rights of the Chinese citizen, and by their nature were extremely nasty,” Le told Branstad, comments similar to those he made to Canada’s ambassador the night before.

China strongly urges the US to pay attention to China’s solemn and just position and withdraw the arrest warrant on Meng, Le added.

“China will respond further depending on US actions,” he said, without elaborating.

Le also told the Canadian ambassador that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Meng.

The US has been looking since at least 2016 into whether Huawei shipped US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.

Companies are barred from using the US financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities.

In a sworn affidavit, Meng said she is innocent of the allegations and will contest them at trial in the United States if she is surrendered there.

Meng also said she was taken to a hospital for treatment for hypertension after being detained.

She said she has longstanding ties to Vancouver dating back at least 15 years, as well as significant property holdings in the city.

Her family also sought leave to remain in Vancouver if she was granted bail, according to the court documents, with her husband saying he plans to bring the couple’s daughter to Vancouver to attend school during the trial.

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CG

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