stats Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


  This site         Tips

  The Web Google


  Where to Find It

Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business



Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store

Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business




  Arts & Entertainment



   Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Births & Deaths






  Facts & Arguments




  Real Estate









  Food & Dining




  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...


   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site



  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us



 Web Site

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


China demands release of Huawei executive
Arrest of Huawei CFO likened to kidnapping

Email this article Print this article
Friday, December 7, 2018 – Page A1

BEIJING -- China is demanding that Canada release Huawei Technologies chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, whose arrest is now being characterized as kidnapping in Beijing.

The Vancouver arrest of Ms. Meng at the request of U.S. authorities in the midst of a trade war has jolted financial markets and thrust Ottawa into the middle of a fraying relationship between the world's two most powerful economies.

It also made Canada the object of Chinese fury.

"Without any solid evidence, the Canadian and U.S. governments trampled on international law by basically 'kidnapping' Chinese citizen Meng Wanzhou," Mei Xinyu, a research fellow with an institute under the Ministry of Commerce, said in the pages of the Global Times, a nationalist tabloid published by the Communist Party.

Tom Fowdy, a British political analyst writing for the state-run CGTN network, called Canada a party to a "political hostage-taking by the Trump administration." More than 10,000 commenters piled on to the Twitter-like Weibo page of the Canadian embassy in China, calling Canada an indecent nation, a thug, a jackal and worse.

And the Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded Canada release Ms.Meng, accusing Ottawa of abusing one of its citizens.

"Detaining a person without providing an explanation has undoubtedly violated her human rights," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday. The Chinese government "has made clear our solemn positions to the U.S. and Canada," Mr. Geng said. Neither Canada nor the United States has yet to give "any explanation on the reason for the detention," he added.

Huawei has said Ms. Meng was arrested at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition. The Americans allege she violated U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.

The United States has warned the Chinese government could use Huawei technology to threaten the national security of countries that install its devices.

Ms. Meng, 46, is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the former army engineer who founded Huawei and led its immense growth.

Huawei is now China's biggest private company, with a payroll of 180,000, and the world's second-largest maker of smartphones.

It has been one of China's most prominent corporate successes, a telecommunications titan that embodies President Xi Jinping's desire to make his country into a powerful force for innovation and global leadership. Half the company's revenue comes from international markets.

In China, Ms. Meng's arrest was seen as a new step in a wide-reaching Washington campaign to stymie those aims and cripple the prospects of a company that has pushed ahead in the race for next-generation 5G mobile-communications technology.

"This is like a sudden attack," said Li Daokui, a prominent scholar and director of the Center for China in the World Economy at Tsinghua University.

"Imagine that Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg was detained in Japan or Korea at the request of the Chinese government. Imagine what the political response would be in the U.S."

Ms. Meng's arrest also raised broader fears about the future of Huawei and the prospects for resolution of a damaging trade dispute between China and the United States.

Ms. Meng was taken into custody on the same day Mr. Xi and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a 90-day negotiation in hopes of resolving the trade frictions that have led the United States to impose tariffs on US$250-billion worth of Chinese goods.

Mr. Li said he was "optimistic" those talks would continue. "The stakes are too high for the two sides to throw away the 90-day deal," he said.

But if China's wrath over the Huawei arrest "continues to ferment, it will ruin the progress the two countries have made," said Chen Qi, a resident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

It's also "obvious that Huawei and all related firms will fall under more severe inspection if they want to step into foreign markets," he said.

The United States can only seek extradition of people wanted in criminal matters. If the extradition is successful, prosecutors will then have to convince a U.S. court of her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, a higher standard than that required in civil cases.

"It's a sign they have a very serious matter," said Julian Ku, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra University. Such a case is much harder to prove than "if they just wanted to cut Huawei out of the market," he said.

The United States, Australia and New Zealand have all moved to block Huawei's 5G technology.

Canada and Britain have not done so, although Britain's BT Group said it would remove Huawei equipment from sensitive parts of its 4G network. Important portions of Huawei's 5G research have been done in the Ottawa area.

Some faulted Canada for siding with the United States in the arrest of Ms. Meng.

"It's a very unwise thing the Canadians are doing," said Victor Gao, a director at the China National Association of International Studies, who warned about the dangers of being an "accomplice" of the United States.

"If a couple of Canadian nationals are arrested somewhere as a bargaining chip, it may not be surprising," he said.

In a sign of the anger at Canada, Zuo Chuanchang, chief research fellow with the Academy of Macroeconomic Research at the National Development and Reform Commission, declined an interview with The Globe and Mail, saying, "you are the ones who arrested her and caused this.

I refuse to talk to Canadian media."

The Canadian government has in recent months renewed efforts to build ties with China amid a broad bid to diversify markets for trade. Finance Minister Bill Morneau was recently in Beijing for meetings in which, according to a Canadian government statement, "the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to deepening and expanding the Canada-China economic and trade relationship."

But the arrest of Ms. Meng complicates matters. China will "have to do something concrete to show their displeasure," said Phil Calvert, a former Canadian diplomat who is now a senior fellow with the China Institute of the University of Alberta.

"No matter how much the Canadian side says that we're just following legal procedures, Chinese officials probably will believe that the arrest was directed or tacitly supported at very senior levels," he said.

Still, he said, the fact Canada has not followed allies in blocking Huawei's 5G technology may cause China to moderate its response - and any anger at Ottawa is likely to subside if Ms. Meng is extradited to the United States and is no longer in Canada.

With reporting by Alexandra Li

Associated Graphic

Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian Justice Department officials as she was transiting through Vancouver on Saturday, the same day U.S. and Chinese leaders agreed to a temporary truce in their long-running trade spat.


The detention of Ms. Meng, seen at a forum in Moscow in 2014, at the request of U.S. authorities has pulled Canada into the simmering U.S.-China trade war.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Margaret_Wente Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.


7-Day Site Search

Breaking News

Today's Weather


Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes

Where Manley is going with his first budget



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
Margaret Wente arrow
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game

Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
Mathew Ingram arrow
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
Andrew Willis arrow

Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
Eric Duhatschek arrow
Allan Maki arrow
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
 The Arts

John Doyle arrow
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
Johanna Schneller arrow

Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
Paul Knox arrow
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
William Thorsell arrow

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page