Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada

Meng Wanzhou faces extradition to the US on suspicion of violating US sanctions.

Fears of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing abound as Canada confirms the arrest of Huawei’s global chief financial officer and vice-chair Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on 1 December. The daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is facing extradition to the US on charges of violating US sanctions. 

The statement from the Canadian Justice Department said:

“As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms. Meng.” 

US Senator Ben Sasse quickly reacted to the arrest saying it was “for breaking US sanctions against Iran”.

“Sometimes Chinese aggression is explicitly state-sponsored and sometimes it’s laundered through many of Beijing’s so-called ‘private’ sector entities,” he said in a statement. 

The Chinese embassy in Canada said in a statement that it opposes the arrest and has lodged “stern representations” to both the US and Canada. It also said that the actions had “seriously harmed the human rights” of Meng. 

“We will closely follow … and take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.” 

Huawei said in a statement that Meng had been “temporarily detained and faced unspecified allegations” in the Eastern district of New York. They also responded to the suspicions of Meng violating the sanctions, saying they had complied with “all applicable laws and regulations where it [Huawei] operates.” 

In a statement posted on his Wechat account on Thursday, Huawei CEO Guo Ping said: 

“There has been very little information provided to Huawei on the specific allegations. Huawei is not aware of any misconduct by Ms. Meng.” 

He also said that they believe the Canadian and US legal systems “will ultimately reach a just conclusion”.

The arrest, which caused US stock futures and Asian markets to tumble, comes days after the US president Donald Trump and China president Xi Jinping held a meeting in which they agreed to pursue three months of negotiations to de-escalate the ongoing trade war between the two economies.