Huawei arrest prompts China to call in US ambassador to lodge a ‘strong protest’
The US ambassador to China faces a grilling this week as Beijing lodges a “strong protest” over Canada’s arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer at Washington’s request.
- Huawei’s chief financial officer was arrested in Vancouver on December 1
- The US allege the executive covered up links to a firm that breached sanctions on Iran
- Senator Marco Rubio told media he would introduce Chinese telecom bans in the US
Meng Wanzhou — daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei — was arrested in Canada on December 1 and faces extradition to the US, who allege that she covered up the tech giant’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite sanctions.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told US ambassador Terry Branstad that the United States had made an “unreasonable demand” on Canada to detain Ms Meng while she was passing through Vancouver.
“The actions of the US seriously violated the lawful and legitimate rights of the Chinese citizen, and by their nature were extremely nasty,” Mr Le told the ambassador.
China strongly urges the United States to pay attention to China’s solemn and just position and withdraw the arrest warrant on Ms Meng, Mr Le added.
“China will respond further depending on US actions,” he said, without elaborating.
Mr Le also told the Canadian ambassador on Saturday that there would be severe consequences if it did not immediately release Ms Meng.
The United States 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.
Companies are barred from using the US financial system to funnel goods and services to sanctioned entities.
US senator Marco Rubio considers Chinese telecom ban
The arrest highlights fears about China’s ability to force Huawei to conduct espionage through its technology. (AP: Ng Han Guan)
US senator Marco Rubio told CBS television’s Face the Nation he would “100 per cent absolutely” introduce something in the new Congress that would ban Chinese telecom firms from doing business in the United States.
“We have to understand Chinese companies are not like American companies. OK. We can’t even get Apple to crack an iPhone for us in a terrorist investigation,” he said.
“When the Chinese ask a telecom company, ‘we want you to turn over all the data you’ve gathered in the country you’re operating in,’ they will do it. No court order. Nothing like that. They will just do it. They have to. We need to understand that.”
Mr Rubio was a strong critic of China’s ZTE Corp, which pleaded guilty in 2017 to violating US laws that restrict the sale of American-made technology to Iran.