Huawei charges are an attempt to ‘strangle’ Chinese business, Beijing says

Image: Facebook/Huawei

Jan. 29 (UPI) — China condemned the U.S. charges against Huawei on Tuesday as political manipulation to obstruct the legitimate business operations of its company.

“The US has been using national power to tarnish and crack down on specific Chinese companies in an attempt to strangle their lawful and legitimate operations,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement. “Behind such practices are deep political intentions and manipulations.”

China will defend the legitimate rights and interests of its companies, he said.

China’s ministry of industry and information technology also called the indictments “unfair and immoral,” the Guardian reported.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed 13 indictments against Chinese smartphone giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, as well as two affiliates, Huawei Device USA Inc. and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd.

The company and its affiliates face a slew of fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

Huawei has denied the charges, saying it is “disappointed” that its efforts to discuss the matter with the states were not accepted, the Guardian reported.

“The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations,” the company said, adding that the U.S. will not find any wrongdoing by Wanzhou.

Geng said Tuesday that the arrest of Wanzhou violated her rights and that the U.S. and Canada are abusing their bilateral extradition agreement against a Chinese citizen “for no reason.”

“We urge the US to immediately withdraw its arrest warrant from Ms. Wanzhou, refrain from making a formal extradition request, and stop going further down the wrong path.”

Geng then warned Canada against risking its own interests for the benefit of the U.S.

Tensions between China and the two North American countries have been steadily rising since December when Wanzhou was arrested in Canada. She is currently out on bail, but the U.S. is seeking to extradite her to face charges in New York. She is due back in court Feb. 6, CNN reported.

Since the arrest, China has separately detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in December on national security charges, arrests largely seen as retaliation against the North American country for having arrested Wanzhou.


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