Following her arrest in Canada earlier this month for alleged US sanction violations, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been released on bail.
Meng was arrested on 1st December 2018 over allegations she was involved with violating US sanctions against Iran. According to prosecutors, Meng misrepresented a firm called Skycom as separate to Huawei in order to flout US sanctions.
A court in Vancouver has released Meng on bail set at C$10m (£6m) but she will be under 24-hour surveillance and must wear an electronic ankle tag.
Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, making the arrest particularly high-profile. Huawei has often come under scrutiny for Zhengfei’s past links to the People’s Liberation Army, where he served in a rank equivalent to major.
The arrest has soured already tense relations between Washington and Beijing. With the arrest made by Canadian authorities, it’s also brought Canada into the fray with China threatening ‘serious consequences’ if Meng is not released.
Roland Paris, a former foreign policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, had a strong rebuke:
“Perhaps because the Chinese state controls its judicial system, Beijing sometimes has difficulty understanding or believing that courts can be independent in a rule-of-law country. There’s no point in pressuring the Canadian government. Judges will decide.”
Miss Meng is said to have used Skycom to evade US sanctions on Iran between 2009 and 2014.
Those hoping the recent peaceful G20 summit would ease trade tensions between the US and China had them dashed by the news of Meng’s arrest. A ceasefire announced by US President Trump after meeting his Chinese counterpart increased traders’ hopes for more stability.
President Trump told Reuters he could intervene in the case against Ms Meng to avoid further deterioration in relations with China.
“Whatever’s good for this country, I would do,” said Mr Trump. “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”
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