December 7, 2018 / 2:28 AM / 7 days ago

Chinese state media says U.S. trying to 'stifle' Huawei with arrest

BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States is trying to “stifle” Chinese technology company Huawei and curb its global expansion with the arrest of a top executive, Chinese state media said on Friday.

A woman walks by a Huawei logo at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China December 6, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old daughter of the company’s founder, was detained in Canada on Dec. 1, the same day U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

Trump did not know about plans to arrest a top executive at the Chinese telecoms giant in Canada, two U.S. officials said on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to stop the incident from impeding crucial trade talks with Beijing.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also sought to distance himself from the arrest, saying the decision was made “without any political involvement or interference”.

China has demanded Meng’s immediate release, and complained neither Canada nor the United States have given a reason for the arrest.

The official China Daily said in an editorial there was still “no telling” on what grounds Meng had been detained and that it seemed to be part of U.S. plans to pressure its allies not to use Huawei goods.

“But one thing that is undoubtedly true and proven is the U.S. is trying to do whatever it can to contain Huawei’s expansion in the world simply because the company is the point man for China’s competitive technology companies,” it said.

“What is badly needed for the development of China-U.S. ties is political trust. Yet Washington, in persuading and pressuring its allies to shun cooperation with Huawei, has helped erode that political trust,” the English-language paper said.

Influential tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, said the United States was “resorting to a despicable rogue’s approach as it cannot stop Huawei’s 5G advance in the market”.

The United States was abusing “legal procedure to stifle Huawei”, it said.

“Despite incomplete information about the incident, the U.S. move obviously goes against the consensus reached between the heads of state of China and the U.S. in Argentina,” the paper wrote.

“The incident shows that China faces a complicated competition with the U.S. Beijing needs determination and wisdom to safeguard its own interests,” it said.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait

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