The father of Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who has been detained in Canada for the past year on bank fraud charges, says she should be proud of becoming a ‘bargaining chip’ in the tense U.S.-China trade war.
Ren Zhengfei, the 75-year-old founder and CEO Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, opened up bout his daughter’s year long detainment in Canada and praised her for her ‘suffering’, saying it’ll make her a stronger person.
‘She should be proud to have been caught in this situation. In the fight between the two nations, she became a bargaining chip,’ he said in an interview with CNN Business on Tuesday.
Meng, 47, was arrested on December 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the United States for allegedly defrauding multiple financial institutions and selling equipment to Iran which broke U.S. sanctions against the country.
Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zengfei, 75, says he’s proud of his daughter Meng Wanzhou’s one year detainment in Canada where she’s fighting extradition to the U.S.
‘She should be proud to have been caught in this situation. In the fight between the two nations, she became a bargaining chip,’ he said in an interview with CNN Business on Tuesday. Meng, 47, was arrested on December 1, 2018 at Vancouver International Airport at the request of the United States for bank fraud charges
Meng denies the charges. She will officially challenge her extradition to the U.S. in a hearing on January 20.
Since then she’s been holed up in two of her Vancouver properties and has been seen attending court appearances in glamorous sequined dresses and bejeweled heels with a monitoring ankle on her ankle.
‘The experience of hardship and suffering is good for Meng and her growth. Under the grand backdrop of the … trade war, she is like a small ant being caught between the collision of two giant powers,’ Ren said.
He says she spends her time painting and studying and her mother and husband regularly fly to Canada to stay with her.
Ren says Meng’s detainment has brought them closer than ever before.
Meng’s formal extradition hearing is set to begin in January and last until October of November 2020. Pictured above on October 3, 2019 under partial house arrest in Vancouver
‘In the past, Meng Wanzhou might not give me a single call in a whole year. She wouldn’t ask how I was, or even send me a text message,’ Ren said. ‘Now, our relationship has become much closer.’
Ren says that Meng won’t get a promotion when the ordeal is over.
‘Hardships like this one will have a major impact on a person’s grit and character. However, when she returns to Huawei, it doesn’t mean that she will be given greater responsibilities.’
He said she’ll continue as CFO to handle financial matters.
‘If the company is led by someone without strategic acumen, the company will gradually lose its competitive edge. That’s why when Meng comes back, she’ll continue to do what she has been doing all along,’ he said.
Meng pictured above being questioned by border officials as she was detained at Vancouver International Airport on December 1
Washington maintains Huawei poses a national security risk because it engages in business that counters U.S. foreign policy interests.
But Meng’s arrest sparked outrage in China, and just days later China arrested two Canadian citizens, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, and charged them with espionage. China denied their arrests are related to Meng’s arrest.
In May Huawei was placed on the U.S. trade blacklist. That means American businesses like Google, Intel and Micros are banned from doing business with Huawei, unless they obtain a U.S. government license to do so. Just last week some U.S. firms, including Microsoft, got that license.
Meng’s formal extradition hearing is set to begin in January and last until October of November 2020.
‘For 2020, we don’t expect US sanctions on Huawei to ease off,’ Atherton Research principal analyst Jean Baptiste Su said to the South China Morning Post. ‘On the contrary, things could get worse before it gets better.’