The US Ambassador to China has been summoned by that country’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng, after the recent arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
And, according to a Bloomberg report, the country is prepared to “take further action if needed.”
The report notes that “it’s unclear how much the summons… will mark a heightening of tensions over the arrest and Huawei,” but the action is being called China’s “most public display of anger” over the arrest.
Meng was arrested on December 1, while she was transferring flights at YVR. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice Canada told Daily Hive Meng is being sought for extradition by the United States.
However, the spokesperson said at the time he was unable to share any further information on the case, citing the request for publication ban by Meng,
Following her arrest, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Geng Shuang responded to the news, demanding clarification regarding the reason for her arrest – as well as her immediate release – at a press conference on Thursday.
“Neither the US nor Canada has made any clarification on the reason for the detention so far,” he said at the time.
But after Meng appeared in a BC courtroom on Friday for a bail hearing, the publication ban was lifted and the reasons for her arrest were brought to light.
On Friday, CNN reported that the US is claiming that Meng “covered up” violations of sanctions on Iran. This is also believed to have helped Huawei “circumvent US sanctions by telling financial institutions that a Huawei subsidiary was a separate company.”
US National Security Adviser John Bolton also chimed in on the case, claiming that his country has had “enormous concerns for years” about “the practice… of Chinese firms to use stolen American intellectual property.”
Huawei, he explained, is one company the US has been particularly concerned about.
According to the report, “Meng’s attorney said she would not breach a court order because doing so would embarrass her personally, and would also humiliate her father, Huawei and China itself.”
Meng is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei.
China objects to “groundless accusations”
Speaking at Thursday’s press conference, Shuang responded to allegations that Meng’s arrest had to do with Chinese intelligence services being suspected of involvement in the hacking of the US hotel group Marriot, saying that he was “not aware” of the situation.
“China firmly opposes all forms of cyber attack and cracks down on them in accordance with law,” he furthered. “We firmly object to making groundless accusations on the issue of cybersecurity.”
He also responded to the idea that Meng could be found guilty in Canada for being in breach of sanctions the US has imposed on Iran.
“As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been faithfully and strictly implementing all the resolutions adopted by the Security Council,” he said. “We oppose the imposition of unilateral sanctions by certain country outside the framework of the Security Council.”
This position, he added, “is consistent and clear-cut.”