China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on Sunday summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to protest over the detention of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou by the Canadian authorities at the orders of the United States, reported USA Today.
Meng, who is accused by U.S. officials of attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions on Iran, was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1. The Chinese government also summoned Canada’s ambassador to China on Saturday to address Meng’s detention, which it described as “lawless, reasonless and ruthless.”
Meng was made to appear in a Vancouver court on Friday for a hearing to determine if she should be released on bail. After hearing arguments from Meng’s lawyer and the prosecutors, the judge couldn’t make a decision. The next hearing is set on Monday.
Notably, Yucheng has warned Canada of dire serious consequences if it did not release Meng immediately. He also expressed strong protest against the US’s unreasonable direction to Canada to detain her.
While China claims Meng is innocent, the US government alleges that she helped Huawei get around US sanctions on Iran by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company. The US Justice Department has declined to comment on the issue.
The arrest has been made just after a week after the U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to temporarily halt the ongoing trade issue. While the US government has decided to hold off on raising tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1 as part of the agreement, Beijing has agreed to buy an unspecified but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the United States to help reduce the trade imbalance.
It remains to be seen if the arrests will reignite a trade war between the world’s two powers.