China condemns US ‘smear’ in Huawei case as tensions boil


As the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed 23 criminal charges in two cases against Chinese telecom giant Huawei on Monday, the media - mostly government backed - in Beijing on Wednesday suggested the Xi Jinping government to push for negotiations with Washington.

Alongside Huawei and Skycom, she's facing charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud.

Although China is now venting its displeasure with the United States, it continues to advise Canada not to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Meng's arrest also prompted retaliation from China, which subsequently detained two Canadian citizens and put another on death row.

Meng Wanzhou appeared in British Columbia Supreme Court Tuesday where Justice William Ehrcke granted her request to change one of the sureties backing her bail.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker confirmed during a press conference Monday that the Justice Department will file extradition documentation for Meng from Canada by a January 30 deadline. Canada's Department of Justice now has 29 days to decide if an extradition hearing should take place.

Wilbur Ross, U.S. Commerce Secretary said the charges are a completely separate issue from the scheduled trade talks. President Donald Trump said he would get involved in the Huawei case if it would help produce a trade agreement with China and told Reuters in an interview in December that he would "intervene if I thought it was necessary".

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The charges allege, among other things, that the company misrepresented its ownership of a Hong Kong-based subsidiary to circumvent American sanctions against Iran, and stole telecommunications technology, trade secrets and equipment from US cell provider T-Mobile USA. The first concerns 13 counts of financial fraud, the breaching of economic sanctions against Iran, and money laundering, while the second involves 10 counts of theft and charges related to the theft.

The charges comprise two separate indictments. Both Meng and the company have denied any wrongdoing.

China's foreign ministry has urged the United States to drop the arrest warrant and end "unreasonable suppression" of Chinese companies.

The Chinese telecom giant, which relied on global banks to process its United States dollar transactions through the U.S., lied to these institutions which would have otherwise refused to process them given USA laws and regulation on companies doing business with Iran, in violation of its sanctions.

David Martin, Meng's lawyer in Canada, didn't immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Huawei has been blocked from selling telecommunications equipment in the United States since a 2012 congressional report raised fears of its products being used to spy on Americans.

When Huawei learned of the US criminal inquiry, one indictment notes, "Huawei and Huawei USA made efforts to move witnesses with knowledge ... to the PRC [People's Republic of China] and beyond the jurisdiction of the US government, and to destroy and hide evidence".