Huawei CFO Arrested By US Ally as Tensions With China Escalate

The U.S. and China have been posturing for a trade war over the last few months. President Donald Trump's administration has levied tariffs on an increasing number of goods originating from China, with the original estimate of $34 billion worth of affected goods quickly rising to $200 billion. Both countries have also engaged in disputes regarding DRAM manufacturing. Tensions are likely to escalate further now that Canadian authorities have arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, a deputy chairwoman at the company and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, with plans to extradite her to New York.

The arrest is said to be linked to allegations that Huawei sought to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran. Canada's Department of Justice told reporters that a bail hearing is set for Friday, December 7 and that further details couldn't be provided because of a publication ban requested by Meng.

"Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the chief financial officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran," U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) told The New York Times. He also said that China has been "working to creatively undermine our national security interests." 

That sentiment echoes the reasoning given by the U.S. Department of Commerce when it prohibited U.S. companies from exporting goods to the Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Company in October. But that's far from the first time the U.S. has cited national security concerns about Chinese companies. Trump previously banned government agencies from using devices and components made by Huawei and ZTE, for example.

Neither Huawei nor the Chinese government have taken Meng's arrest lying down. The company said it's "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng," according to the BBC, and a Chinese official said "detention without giving any reason violates a person's human rights." China has asked both the U.S. and Canada to provide a reason for Meng's arrest and immediately release her to "protect the person's legal rights."

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