Trump ready to step into Huawei extradition storm

Global Business

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, file photo, a man lights a cigarette outside a Huawei retail shop in Beijing. Taiwan is reinforcing its five-year-old ban on network equipment produced by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE amid security concerns. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

U.S. President Donald Trump said he’s ready to step into the international furor surrounding a Chinese telecoms executive wanted for alleged fraud.

Trump suggested he’d intervene in the case of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou to save critical talks aimed at resolving the U.S. – China trade war.   

But as CGTN’s Owen Fairclough reports, it’s not that straightforward in this three-way diplomatic wrangle. 

She’s free to stay in her Canadian home – for now.

Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou left court on Tuesday after she was granted bail while authorities consider extraditing her to the U.S. 

“I am in Vancouver and back with my family I am proud of Huawei, I am proud of my motherland,” Meng announced on WeChat.

Her arrest on December 1st has triggered an international diplomatic storm.

Washington – which has banned Huawei from doing business with it over national security concerns –  wants Meng to stand trial for allegedly breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran by using U.S. banks via fraudulent transactions in business dealings with Tehran.

But the timing is hugely sensitive.

Meng was arrested on the day Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping dined together to call a temporary truce on their trade war at the G20 summit in Argentina.

China has strongly objected to Meng’s arrest and charge, and Trump suggested he could intervene, telling Reuters “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made…what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

But the U.S. Department of Justice appears to have other ideas.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers told a congressional hearing:“We don’t do trade and so we follow the facts and we vindicate violations of U.S. law. That’s what we’re doing when we bring those cases and it’s very important for other countries to understand that.”

If U.S.- China ties are under pressure, so are Canada’s relations with China after former Canadian diplomat, Michael Kovrig was arrested in Beijing on Monday, on suspicion of threatening Chinese national security.

Despite this, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the Huawei case.

“There was no engagement or involvement in the political level in this decision because we respect the independence of our judicial processes,” he said.

Huawei insists it complies with all sanction legislation from the United Nations, European Union and U.S.

Huawei is one of the world’s biggest telecoms firms.

And if it was little known in the West before, now it’s at the top of the international agenda and a major consideration in how, if it all, a costly trade war between the U.S and China can be resolved. 

China arrests former Canadian diplomat

China says a former Canadian diplomat has been arrested for endangering the country’s national security. The incident follows the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s in Canada a few days earlier. Are the two situations connected? CGTN’s Su Xiaoxiao has more.

Bruce Fein discusses the latest on Meng Wanzhou

To learn more about the implications of Meng Wanzhou’s case and China’s detainment of a former Canadian diplomat, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein.