Chinese Embassy says the US is trying to suppress Huawei

TORONTO (AP) – China’s Embassy in Canada said on Friday the United States (US) is trying to suppress a Chinese tech giant with unwarranted charges in what it calls “typical bullying behaviour”.

An embassy statement to The Associated Press said the arrest of Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of US authorities is “of course different” from China’s detentions of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. He said the US and Canada are guilty of arbitrary detention.

“The Meng Wanzhou incident is not just a judicial case, but the US using state power to work with its certain ally to suppress a private high-tech Chinese enterprise on unwarranted charges. This is a typical bullying behaviour,” the statement said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a visit to Ottawa on Thursday that the cases are “fundamentally different” because Meng is afforded due process in Canada and the cases involving the Canadians are human rights cases involving arbitrary detentions that have nothing to do with the rule of law.

Beijing detained Kovrig and Spavor on December 10 in an apparent attempt to pressure Canada to release Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder.

A Huawei retail store in Beijing. PHOTO: AP

China threatened Canada with grave consequences after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport December 1 on behalf of the US, which wants her extradited on fraud charges.

“Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested according to law for suspected crimes endangering China’s national security. China is country with rule of law,” the embassy statement said.

No evidence has been provided in the Kovrig and Spavor cases and they have not been allowed access to family members or lawyers while in Chinese custody.

Meng is accused of lying to banks about the company’s dealing with Iran in violation of US trade sanctions.

She is out on bail in Vancouver and living in her multimillion-dollar mansion awaiting extradition proceedings.

China and the US are currently embroiled in a trade war that has roiled global financial markets.

Pompeo said Meng is not a bargaining chip in US-China trade talks.