Wednesday, 12 December 2018 10:44

Trump may intervene in Huawei CFO case if trade deal likely Featured

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Trump may intervene in Huawei CFO case if trade deal likely Pixabay

US President Donald Trump appears to have opened a can of worms by stating that he would intervene in the case against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei, if it would help achieve a trade deal for the US.

Reuters reported that Trump, when asked if he would intervene in the case, said “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

Canada has granted bail to Meng who was arrested in Vancouver on 1 December.

In a related development, Reuters reported that former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig had been taken into custody on Monday.

Kovrig works for the International Crisis Group, a think-tank that claims to be involved in independent conflict resolution.

Meng is the deputy chairperson of Huawei's board and the daughter of the company's founder, Ren Zhengfei.

Her bail conditions stipulate that she must reside at her Vancouver home while waiting for a decision on possible extradition to the US.

Bail was set at C$10 million (A$10.36 million) and she will be subject to electronic monitoring with security personnel to accompany here if she goes out.

Meng's arrest is allegedly due to her involvement in sanctions busting through the sales of US products to Iran.

American authorities claim that she lied to banks about connections between Huawei and a company that did business in Iran.

News of the US Justice Department probe into whether Huawei has violated sanctions on Iran was reported by The Wall Street Journal in April.

Earlier this year, the US Department of Commerce imposed a seven-year ban on another big Chinese telco equipment maker, ZTE, claiming that the company had made false statements during talks in 2016 over a charge of shipping telco equipment to Iran and North Korea.

ZTE shut down its main business activities in the US on 9 May.

But following the intervention of US President Donald Trump, a deal was worked out for ZTE to return to business by paying a fine of US$1 billion, changing its management team and depositing US$400 million in an escrow account against possible future transgressions.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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