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China urges Canadian government to release Huawei CFO

By Lawrence Gash

Detained executive Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s founder

In the wake of Justin Trudeau’s reelection in Canada, the Chinese foreign ministry has urged the Canadian government to immediately release detained Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.

Wanzhou is deputy chairwoman of the board and chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies, China’s largest private company, and is the daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei.

Charged by the United States with bank fraud and misleading HSBC as to Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, Wanzhou has been detained in Canada for 11 months.

Geng Shuang, a spokesperson at the ministry, called for Wanzhou’s immediate release at a press conference.

While some have pointed to a number of Canadian nationals and businessmen and women detained in China, others have argued that Wanzhou’s detention is part of the wider US-China trade war. Earlier this year Washington blacklisted Huawei from doing business with any American company, citing national security concerns.

It is unclear how Canadian prime minister Trudeau will proceed with the matter. His ruling Liberal Party lost its majority in the most recent election and will now operate as a minority government with the support of a smaller more left wing party.

China’s comments come a day after ex-US national security adviser Susan Rice told CBC: “I think Canada should stand by its principles and and be very clear, as you have with other important players like Saudi Arabia. In my experience [with China] if you give ’em an inch, they'll take a mile.”

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