Russia’s top diplomat has criticized the arrest of a Chinese telecommunications company executive as an example of heavy-handed policies of the U.S.
The chief financial officer of Huawei, the world’s biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies, was arrested in Canada Saturday and faces extradition to the U.S. on charges of trying to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran.
Speaking during a meeting in Rome, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday the executive’s arrest shows how the U.S. is pushing to implement its laws beyond its borders, which he called “a very arrogant position.”
Lavrov said “that is not even being supported by anyone, even the closest allies of the U.S.,” adding that “we need to put a stop to that.”
The European Union’s technology commissioner says the bloc should be worried about possible security risks from telecom giant Huawei and other Chinese companies.
EU Digital Market Commissioner Andrus Ansip said there’s reason for concern following the arrest of Huawei’s chief financial officer reportedly on suspicion of involvement in sanctions evasions.
“The next question is, do we have to be worried about Huawei or other Chinese companies? Yes I think we have to be worried,” Ansip said at a press briefing.
Ansip said there are fears about Beijing requiring the country’s tech companies to cooperate with its intelligence services or add “back doors” to their systems.
Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of network gear for phone and internet companies but the arrest has intensified concerns that its dominance threatens the national security of Western allies.
China has expressed serious concern about media reports that Japan might exclude Chinese telecom equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. from government purchases.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang said Friday that both companies have been operating legally in Japan for a long time and that China hopes Japan “will provide a level playing field for Chinese companies …. and avoid doing anything that would undermine mutual trust and cooperation.”
The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported that Tokyo might take the step because of security concerns, as the United States and some other countries have done.
A Japanese official said though that no decision has been made.
A Japanese official has cast doubt over reports that Japan plans to exclude Chinese telecoms equipment makers Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp. from government purchases due to security concerns.
The Japanese newspaper Yomiuri reported Friday that Tokyo might take the action following the lead of the U.S. and some other countries.
The report, citing unnamed sources, said government officials planned to meet to discuss such a move.
A senior official at the government office in charge of cybersecurity said Japan has not made such a decision. He said some new policy may be announced next week but it would likely not be what was being reported.
The dramatic arrest of a Chinese telecommunications executive has driven home why it will be so hard for the Trump administration to resolve its deepening conflict with China.
The Huawei Technologies executive, Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, faces extradition to the United States. A bail hearing was set for Friday.
In the short run, her arrest heightens skepticism about the trade truce that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping reached last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Share markets were rattled by fears that the 90-day cease-fire won’t last.
Huawei has been a subject of U.S. national security concerns that extend well beyond tariffs or market access. Washington and Beijing are locked in a clash between the world’s two largest economies for economic and political dominance for decades to come.