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Just days after President Trump announced a "BIG leap forward" in relations between the U.S. and China, tensions between the two economic heavyweights are escalating once more.
On Saturday, Canadian authorities arrested Meng, the daughter of the founder of Huawei and the company's chief financial officer. A Canadian Justice Department spokesman acknowledged Wednesday that law enforcement took her into custody at the request of the US, which is seeking her extradition for allegedly violating its sanctions on Iran.
The arrest came the same day as Trump's self-described "extraordinary "meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit.
In a statement released Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in Canada protested the move as a act that "seriously harmed the human rights of the victim," referring to Meng.
"The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, "the Embassy said," and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Ms. Meng Wanzhou. "
The Embassy vowed that Chinese officials would" take all measures to resolutely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens. "
China's Embassy in Canada on Thursday demanded the immediate release of Chinese national Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested by the Canadian police at the reque st of the US, even though she has not violated any US or Canadian laws, calling the move a serious violation of human rights. pic.twitter.com/wM5HqFrjde
– People's Daily, China (@PDChina) December 6, 2018
As the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, Meng is effectively business royalty in China. Huawei is the world's largest maker of equipment for cellular towers and Internet networks, and the company is the world's second most popular smartphone brand.
James McGregor, the major China chairman of the public relations firm APCO, resembles the situation to what it
"When that [news] turned up on my phone this morning, I was just breathless, actually – taken aback," he said. McGregor says. "Oh my god, where is this going to lead? We are in uncharted territory."
Surprising as the move was, U.S.
For years, Washington has alleged that the Chinese government could force the company to tap into its hardware to spy or disrupt communications – a fear that's now elevated as the world prepares to upgrade to 5G, a new wireless technology that will connect more items like self-driving cars and health monitors to the Internet.
As a result, some of the closest allies of the US, such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand have banned or restricted Huawei on its 5G networks.
The US launched a criminal probe into Huawei's dealings in Iran in April. Myndigheit hefur misstagt að fyrirtækið hafi verið að taka þátt í hryðjuverkum gegn Iran síðan 2016, þegar the U.S. Huawei's Chinese rival ZTE over similar violations.
This year has also seen the eruption of trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The opening salvos of what Beijing has called "the biggest trade war in economic history" were celebrated in July, when the U.S. implemented tariffs on $ 34 billion in goods from China. Siden da har landene vakt om at have sagt, at der er blevet sagt om levetid på mere end 350 milliarder dollar i indførsler mellem dem – og Trump har truet det endnu mere på sin vej.
The meeting between Trump and Xi last weekend inspired hopes among some market-watchers that a resolution may be in the offing.
Men de første hopes faded by Tuesday, når markeder over hele verden slår med stigende skepticisme over how firm the deal actually was. And Meng's arrest sent stocks still further into a spiral Thursday as Asian markets reacted to the news.
As for Huawei, in particular, a spokesman, the company is not aware of any wrongdoing at Meng, whose bail hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
Some in the China business community think this arrest shows that the Trump administration has stopped treating China as a special case, and will now deal with Chinese companies as it deals with its own companies that break the law.
"This is usually China's kind of move," says McGregor. "When China's got some tough political problem going, often it ends up arresting someone, some foreigner, some Chinese with another passport, and kind of holding them hostage."
"They are not going to look at the legality of it , "he added. "They're going to look at it as completely political."