Meng Wanzhou, 46, was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the U.S. Although the specific charge or charges against the daughter of Huawei’s founder were not disclosed, the U.S. is investigating the company for possibly violating American trade sanctions against Iran. According to Reuters, she was arrested as part of a U.S. investigation into an alleged scheme by Huawei to use HSBC for possible illegal dealings involving Iran, circumventing U.S. sanctions. China has called for the immediate release of Meng, a former officer in the Chinese military. “It is clear that Washington is maliciously finding fault with Huawei and trying to put the company in jeopardy with US laws,” The Global Times wrote. “Washington is attempting to damage Huawei's international reputation and taking aim at the tech giant's global market in the name of law.”
In a similar editorial, the state-run China Daily claimed Meng’s arrest is part of a U.S. effort to contain the company’s global expansion and called on Washington to “change its mentality” toward China.
“Security concerns are the reason given, but no evidence of this has been forthcoming while the pressure from the US is writ large,” they wrote. “What propels Washington's animosity against China is its pertinacious Cold War mentality, with which it continually distorts the reality of international relations.”
The rhetoric came as American political leaders called for the Trump administration to hold the company -- which many view as a front for the Chinese government and military -- accountable by issuing sanctions.
"It has been clear for some time that Huawei, like ZTE, poses a threat to our national security,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said. “Now we know that Huawei, like ZTE, has violated U.S. sanctions law. It's my hope that the Trump administration will hold Huawei fully accountable for breaking sanctions law, as it failed to do in the case of ZTE.”
Warner is the vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Tensions over Meng and Huawei threatened to derail an already fragile trade deal between the U.S. and China, and send stocks plummeting on Thursday before they claw their way back.