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China state press reacts furiously to arrest of top Huawei exec on U.S. order

December 6, 2018

China’s state-controlled press is reacting with undisguised fury to the arrest of a top officer of telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. in Vancouver, Canada, detained reportedly at the request of the Trump administration over suspected illegal trading with Iran.

Canadian officials revealed late Wednesday that Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the company founder, had been detained Dec. 1 for possible extradition to the U.S. The arrest came on the same day President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were negotiating their 90-day “truce” at the Group of 20 nations summit in Buenos Aires in an attempt to tone down an escalating trade war.

“With the arrest, the U.S. is sending signals to the international community that it is targeting Huawei,” the state-controlled Global Times wrote in an editorial posted Thursday. “It is clear that Washington is maliciously finding fault with Huawei and trying to put the company in jeopardy with U.S. laws. Washington is attempting to damage Huawei’s international reputation and taking aim at the tech giant’s global market in the name of law.”

“China has been exercising restraint, but the U.S. cannot act recklessly. [President Trump] should rein in the hostile activities of some Americans who may imperil Sino-US relations,” the editorial concluded.

The U.S. and a number of countries have long questioned the close government ties of major Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei and ZTE Corp. The U.S. government has restricted Huawei’s business opportunities in the American market, and Australian intelligence officials recently said Huawei should not participate in the country’s move to a nationwide 5G next-generation phone network.

Doubts about the stability of the Trump-Xi truce between the world’s two largest economies have rattled world markets in recent days. The Dow Jones Index fell more than 600 points 2.47 percent in the first hour of trading on Wall Street Thursday morning after the Huawei news broke.

“Despite incomplete information about the incident, the U.S. move obviously goes against the consensus reached between the heads of state of China and the U.S. in Argentina,” the Global Times wrote Thursday. “The incident shows that China faces a complicated competition with the U.S. Beijing needs determination and wisdom to safeguard its own interests.”

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