United States ‘suspects Huawei used global banking plot to evade Iran sanctions’

Cornelia Mascio
Dicembre 7, 2018

Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, faces possible extradition to the United States, according to Canadian authorities.

Other nations are increasingly being forced to choose between Chinese and USA suppliers for next-generation " 5G" wireless technology.

Meanwhile, the substantially more independent South China Morning Post reported today that Meng and her father recently told Huawei employees that strict compliance with regulations was sometimes not financially feasible and could be avoided. -Chinese tensions that threaten global economic growth. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 2.5 per cent and the DAX in Germany sank 1.8 per cent.

Authorities conducted the arrest without political interference, Trudeau said Thursday in his first comments on the arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, which has further inflamed tensions between the US and China.

"We have made solemn representations to Canada and the U.S., 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.

He said arresting her without that violated her human rights.

A ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said China will promptly carry out their agreement and is confident they can reach a trade deal during the 90 days set by Trump to suspend U.S. tariff hikes.

Huawei, the biggest global supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies, has been the target of deepening USA security concerns.

Huawei, for its part, has denied sharing information with the Chinese government, as has ZTE. The Trump administration says they benefit from improper subsidies and market barriers.

In a statement posted on December 6 on its official website, the Chinese Embassy in Canada claimed that Meng did not violate "any American or Canadian law".

"The United States is stepping up containment of China in all respects", said Zhu Feng, an global relations expert at Nanjing University.

Brock University professor Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat who had served two postings in China, said Beijing was convinced the US administration had pressured Canada to go ahead with the arrest.

"The incident could turn out to be a breaking point", Zhu said. The company was banned in August from working on Australia's fifth-generation network.

On Wednesday, British phone carrier BT said it was removing Huawei equipment from the core of its mobile phone networks.

Huawei, the world's biggest network equipment maker ahead of Ericsson and Nokia, has said Beijing has no influence over its operations. The Chinese government appealed to Washington to avoid any steps that might damage business confidence. A spokesman for the US Attorney's office in Brooklyn, which Reuters has reported is investigating Huawei, declined to comment.

Earlier this year, the United States banned American firms from selling parts and software to ZTE, which then paid $1 billion this summer as part of a deal to get the ban lifted. It surpassed Apple in smartphone sales in the second quarter of this year, leaving it behind only market leader Samsung.

Meng was changing flights in Canada when she was detained "on behalf of the United States of America" to face unspecified charges in NY, according to a Huawei statement.

"The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the USA and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou". 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. Meng reportedly faces extradition to the USA for allegedly violating American sanctions against Iran.

The New York Times said the company had been subpoenaed by the US Commerce and Treasury Departments over alleged violations of Iran and North Korea sanctions.

China's foreign ministry said neither the United States nor Canada have explained reasons for the arrest.

ZTE is China's second-largest telecommunications equipment maker and relies on US components for its smart phones and networking equipment.

Despite that, her arrest is unlikely to derail trade talks, said Willy Lam, a politics specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. "He desperately wants a settlement", said Lam.

Traders said the development smashed hopes surrounding the trade war ceasefire announced by President Trump after talks with his Chinese counterpart at the weekend. That includes imposing limits on visas for Chinese students to study science and technology. -China relations, it was not clear if the timing was coincidental.

"That's something we should be watching out for".

"You can play hardball with a small country but you can't do it with the US", he said. "It's a prominent member of their society and it's a company that really embodies China's quest for global recognition as a technology power".

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