Mnuchin says Huawei case 'separate' from U.S.-China trade talks

Thursday, 31 Jan, 2019

Both countries should be clear that they will uphold worldwide norms and global law when it comes to trade relations.

A day after the United States announced a formal request for her extradition, the chief financial officer of telecommunications giant Huawei appeared in a Canadian court for a hearing concerning her bail.

In addition to fraud charges linked to Iran sanctions violations against Meng and the company, two Huawei affiliates were charged with stealing robot technology from T-Mobile.

While the charges paint the company as a threat to national security, the Australian chairman of Huawei Technologies believes the telecom giant has simply been caught up in "China bashing".

Meng has been staying at a family residence in Vancouver ever since Ehrcke approved her release on C$10m ($7.5m) bail.

Prosecutors allege that Huawei claimed it was a separate company but that it was actually a subsidiary operating in Iran in violation of USA sanctions.

Huawei is "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms. Meng, and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion", it said. Meng, 46, has been charged with multiple counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracies to commit bank and wire fraud, by allegedly busting the aforementioned United States sanctions by conducting business in Iran via Huawei's American arm.

"For years, Chinese firms have broken our export laws and undermined sanctions, often using United States financial systems to facilitate their illegal activities". "China should be concerned about criminal activities by Chinese companies, and China should take action".

The announcement Monday includes a 10-count grand jury indictment in Seattle, and a separate 13-count case from prosecutors in the Eastern District of NY. But prosecutors have said it was in fact a part of a company-wide effort and alleged Huawei actually rewards employees for stealing trade secrets. President Donald Trump said he would get involved in the Huawei case if it would help produce a trade agreement with China.

Macau is an autonomous Chinese territory and maintains a legal system separate from that of mainland China.

In December the countries agreed to suspend new tariffs for 90 days to allow talks.

In references to the Huawei case, China Daily, however, observed that it "remains to be seen if US and China can maneuver their way to such an outcome".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders denied that the criminal charges were part of a carrot-and-stick approach to the trade talks.

Australia in August banned Huawei and another Chinese telecommunications equipment company, ZTE Corp, from involvement in the rollout of the nation's 5G network. "Huawei is a global bad actor operating at the behest of the Chinese government and intelligence services".

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, estimated by Forbes to be worth $3.4 billion, is a reclusive man who rarely speaks in public.

Her comments came after reports this weekend from the South China Morning Post, citing local media, about a 61-year-old Canadian who was arrested and is accused of trying to defraud an unnamed entertainment company of $375 million.

January 14: A Chinese court sentences Canadian Robert Lloyd Schellenberg to death in a drug smuggling case, overturning his 15-year sentence from November.