China demands Canada release Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver

The Chinese Embassy in Canada has issued a statement over the arrest of Meng Wanzhou

China is demanding Canada release Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in a case that adds to technology tensions with Washington and threatens to complicate trade talks. He declined to give further details, given that Meng faces a bail hearing on Friday.

Meng faces extradition to the USA, where investigators are probing Huawei's alleged non-compliance with sanctions on Iran.

It says she was arrested when she was transferring flights in Canada.

The company said it wasn't aware of any wrongdoing by the CFO and that authorities in both countries will "ultimately reach a just conclusion".

A US judge last month issued an order finding that China's ZTE Corp violated probation imposed in March 2017 when the company pleaded guilty for conspiring to evade USA sanctions by illegally shipping US goods and technology to Iran. "The Chinese side firmly opposes and strongly protests over such kind of actions which seriously harmed the human rights of the victim", the statement said.

"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", Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing. Early in April, Reuters had reported that since at least 2016, the us attorney's office in Brooklyn has been probing Huawei's alleged shipping of USA -origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of USA export and sanctions laws.

USA authorities have been probing Huawei since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of USA export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.

Meng is a prominent member of China's business world as deputy chairman of Huawei's board and the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, a former Chinese military engineer.

It is not clear if Meng's arrest is connected to the United States probe into Huawei. David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, said U.S. and Canadian business executives could face reprisals in China.

It's not an isolated incident, but rather the latest chapter in a long history of tension between China's smartphone and telecommunications giant and the USA government and businesses.

Canadian authorities have arrested China-based Huawei Technologies' chief financial officer for possible violations of US trade sanctions related to sales of HP equipment to Iran a decade ago.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman told reporters Thursday that government wants Canadian officials to reveal the reasoning behind Wanzhou's arrest.

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In many respects, the arrest "personified the power struggle between the United States and China", he said.

Huawei itself has been increasingly on the rocks with the U.S. for the past year.

Meng, it said, was "not violating any American or Canadian law".

In 2016, the Commerce Department sought information regarding whether Huawei was possibly sending US technology to Syria and North Korea as well as Iran.

The U.S. Justice Department has refused comment.

In August, U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill banning the government's use of Huawei technology based on the security concerns.

There had already been concerns in the United States over the security of Huawei's technology amid worries that the Chinese government could use the tech company's products to spy on Americans, an allegation the company has long denied.

Meng in that Reuter's story was also referred to by her English name, Cathy Meng.

Some Western governments fear Beijing will gain access to fifth-generation (5G) mobile and other communications networks through Huawei and expand its spying ability, although the firm insists there is no government control.

Experts have suggested that Meng's detention could have negative repercussions for the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. One of those people is Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE), who said the USA "can't sit on the sidelines" while China undermines national security with its actions.

"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 (President) Xi (Jinping)'s communist party", he added.

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