China Threatens Canada Over Huawei CFO Arrest
China demands that Canada releases Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou immediately. The daughter of the electronics company owner was arrested a week ago at the request of the US and is waiting for extradition in Vancouver.
The Canadian ambassador in China had to explain his country’s actions to the Beijing government. He was told that China finds the arrest “unreasonable, unscrupulous and a very unfair act.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned of “serious consequences” if Canada does not cooperate, without explaining further.
The US is demanding the extradition of Wanzhou because they say her company violated the trade sanctions against Iran. Analysts believe however that the real reason is to put pressure on Chinese technology companies such as Huawei.
The arrest is the culmination of a year during which the US did everything it could to pressure the Chinese tech champions.
High technology sectors were the subject of Washington’s first series of trade sanctions against Beijing. The US levied charges of 25 percent.
The second wave was less focused on technology and involved milder charges of 10 percent.
Bush and Obama
China is a world leader for the export of high-tech products and the trade war between the world’s largest economies is mainly about those.
President Donald Trump wants to stop Chinese development, just as his predecessors George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But Trump’s style is much more direct.
At the same time, the United States is happy to stir up the suspicions of espionage by Chinese tech players. In January, a letter from 18 US members of parliament stopped a distribution deal for Huawei with US telecom operators AT&T and Verizon. The deal was intended for the launch of the Mate 10 Pro, the then flagship of the smartphone manufacturer.
Keeping China out
It’s all part of a much broader operation to keep Chinese technology out of the US and keep it as small as possible. Washington and Beijing are waging a life and death struggle to claim the technological scepter over the next decade.
The reason is the ‘Made in China 2025’ plan formulated by Beijing in 2015. The country no longer wants to be the factory of the world, but a high-tech superpower.
The United States realizes that they have an equal opponent. In recent years, China has consistently excluded companies such as Facebook, Google and Netflix. The Trump government now applies the same strategy.