Briefing

‘This is like a sudden attack’: China lashes out at Canada over arrest of Huawei executive

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China is demanding the immediate release of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested at the Vancouver airport on the request of U.S. officials who claim Wanzhou tried to skirt sanctions on Iran. Meng was taken into custody the same day Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to a 90-day negotiation to settle concerns over tariffs and IP theft. The Chinese government is demanding Meng be released immediately. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The arrest places Canada firmly in the middle of a rapidly escalating conflict between the U.S. and China over trade and technology. Huawei is a deeply important company in China—it’s the country’s largest private firm, with over 180,000 people on payroll. The U.S., U.K., Australia, New Zealand and India have all limited Huawei’s access to 5G technology over the past year citing concerns that the company will spy on behalf of the Chinese government. Canada remains a holdout, with major telcos including Bell and Telus working with the company. This arrest further escalates the conflict—it’s already having major financial repercussions with stock markets in the U.K., Japan, and the U.S. all down on the news. The Dow Jones was down 1.7 per cent in mid-afternoon trading, but closed at 0.32 per cent down.