Chinese state media has condemned the arrest of an heiress to the Huawei empire as a ‘despicable rogue’s approach’ designed to suppress China’s technology sector.
Meng Wanzhou was arrested at Vancouver airport as she changed planes on December 1, accused of violating American sanctions against Iran.
Chinese media accused America of ‘abusing’ international law because Huawei is out-competing American firms in the technology market.
Meng Wanzhou, heiress to the Huawei technology giant, was arrested in Canada on December 1 and accused of violating American sanctions against Iran
Chinese state media accused America of ‘abusing’ international law to curtail Huawei’s business because its own companies are failing to compete
In an editorial, the state-run Global Times wrote: ‘The Chinese government should seriously mull over the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China’s high-tech enterprises
‘Obviously, Washington is resorting to a despicable rogue’s approach as it cannot stop Huawei’s 5G advance in the market.’
The China Daily warned that ‘containing Huawei’s expansion is detrimental to China-US ties’.
US authorities have not disclosed the charges she faces following a publication ban sought by Meng
But ‘one thing that is undoubtedly true and proven is the US is trying to do whatever it can to contain Huawei’s expansion in the world simply because the company is the point man for China’s competitive technology companies,’ the daily said.
Donald Trump has denied having any knowledge of the arrest, while Canada’s Justin Trudeau said he was informed a couple of days ahead of time, but had nothing to do with planning the operation.
China has lodged diplomatic protests over the arrest and has repeatedly asked the US and Canada to ‘clarify’ reasons for the arrest.
‘In the past seven days, be it Canada or the US, neither have provided any evidence of the involved party breaking the law in either country,’ Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Meng’s arrest follows a US probe into the company’s alleged violations of Iran sanctions. She faces a bail hearing in Canada on Friday.
Though China’s technology sector is still reliant on certain US exports like microchips, Beijing wants to transform the country into a global tech leader rivalling the United States in a plan dubbed ‘Made in China 2025’.
Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau claimed they were unaware of plans to arrest a top executive at Chinese telecoms giant Huawei in Canada
President Trump (far right) and President XI (far left) agreed to call a truce in their long-running trade dispute at the G20 on Saturday, the same day that Meng was arrested
Huawei is one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment and services providers. Its products are used by carriers around the world, including in Europe and Africa.
But its US business has been tightly constrained by worries it could undermine American competitors and that its cellphones and networking equipment, used widely in other countries, could provide Beijing with avenues for espionage.
Australia, New Zealand and Britain have followed suit this year by rejecting some of the company’s services over security concerns.
Japan too plans to ban government use of telecom products made by Huawei and Chinese tech firm ZTE, reported Japanese media Yomiuri Shimbun on Friday.
Chinese netizens have criticised Meng’s arrest on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like platform, where online trolls sometimes deliberately incite nationalist fervour or pro-government stances.
Some users viewed the incident as part of the trade war — and a broader conspiracy to keep down China’s technological development.
‘One of the most important reasons why the US started the trade war was to attack China’s technology sector and its ‘Made in China 2025′ plan,’ wrote one Weibo user.
The goal is to keep China stuck in ‘low-end industries and force China into the middle income trap.’
The detention of Meng appears to be a ‘game of politics’, wrote another user.
Earlier this year, ZTE nearly collapsed after Washington banned US companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to it for seven years, though the ban was lifted after it agreed to pay a $1 billion fine.
Some analysts say Meng’s arrest could be used as a bargaining chip, but White House trade advisor Peter Navarro denied it was linked the US-China trade negotiations.
‘The two issues are totally separate,’ Navarro told CNN.
But CNN, quoting an unnamed official, said that the United States saw the arrest as providing leverage in trade talks.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also denied ‘any political involvement or interference’ in Meng’s arrest.
‘I can assure everyone that we are a country (with) an independent judiciary,’ Trudeau told a tech conference in Montreal.
Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, said he knew that Canada was planning to arrest Meng, but he declined to discuss specifics of the case.
But, he added, the United States has had ‘enormous concerns for years’ about the practice of Chinese firms to ‘use stolen American intellectual property’ and being used as ‘arms of the Chinese government’s objectives in terms of information technology in particular.’
‘So not respecting this particular arrest, but Huawei is one company we’ve been concerned about,’ he added.