The Chinese Embassy in Canada released a furious statement Thursday after Canada arrested a Chinese tech giant executive at the behest of a U.S. extradition request.
The U.S. submitted an extradition request for chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei after the company was deemed a national security threat. Meng was in Canada at the time and authorities arrested her, a move which China is calling unjustified and illegal, NBC news reported Thursday. The arrest comes as U.S. President Donald Trump negotiated a trade truce with China on Dec. 1, which could now be threatened if tensions continue to escalate.
“We have made solemn representations to Canada and the US, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person’s legal rights,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Meng and Huawei generally are accused of breaking sanctions against trading with Iran by selling U.S.-made products. U.S. intelligence authorities began investigating Hauwei in early 2018.
Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse praised Canada’s willingness to arrest Meng, saying that China has long been an antagonist in global trade.
“China is working creatively to undermine our national security interests, and the United States and our allies can’t sit on the sidelines,” Sasse said in a Wednesday statement. “Sometimes Chinese aggression is explicitly state-sponsored and sometimes it’s laundered through many of Beijing’s so-called ‘private’ sector entities that are in bed with Xi’s communist party. Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran.”
James Andrew Lewis, the director of the technology policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told NBC that arresting Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, is like China choosing to arrest business magnate Bill Gates’ daughter.
“If I was a tech executive I would not go to China right now,” he told NBC.
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