China has threatened the US with ‘further action’ if Huawei’s CFO isn’t freed

Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei and daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei.

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Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei and daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei.
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REUTERS/Alexander Bibik

  • China has upped the pressure on the US over the arrest of a Huawei executive in Canada.
  • Its foreign ministry summoned the US ambassador on Sunday to register its “strong protest” at the detainment of CFO Meng Wanzhou.
  • China wants the US to withdraw its arrest warrant.
  • Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1 on US orders, over concerns that Huawei violated sanctions on equipment sales to Iran.

China has upped the pressure on the US over the arrest of a senior Huawei executive in Canada, threatening “further action” if she is not released.

China’s foreign ministry summoned US ambassador Terry Branstad on Sunday to lodge a “strong protest” over the detainment of Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, and said the United States should withdraw its arrest warrant.

Further measures will depend on US actions, vice foreign minister Le Yucheng told the US ambassador, China’s foreign ministry added.

Meng was arrested in Canada on December 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran despite US sanctions.

The executive is also the daughter of the founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei. She has spent the weekend in jail pending a decision on bail.

Meng’s arrest sent shockwaves through the global markets, with fears that her detainment could escalate the trade war between the US and China. Huawei, which makes telecommunications kit and smartphones, is the poster child of China’s technological and economic boom, and recently overtook Apple as the world’s second biggest smartphone seller behind Samsung.

Its founder, Ren, was an engineer in China’s military, and his ties to the Communist Party have triggered international concerns that Huawei’s telecommunications kit may be compromised. Huawei has always denied it has been asked to spy for China’s authorities.