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China Summons U.S. Ambassador As Huawei Defends Iran Operations


Meng Wanzhou

China has summoned the U.S. ambassador to Beijing to protest the detention by Canada of a senior Chinese electronics executive at the request of the United States.

Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on December 9 "lodged solemn representations and strong protests" with Ambassador Terry Branstad in regard to the detention of Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of electronics giant Huawei.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, Le called Meng's detention "extremely egregious" and demanded that the United States cancel her arrest warrant or face further steps by Beijing.

Chinese authorities had summoned the Canadian ambassador a day earlier and issued similar warnings.

Meng, 46, the daughter of Huawei's founder, was arrested on December 1 while she was changing planes in Vancouver, Canada, on U.S. charges of trying to evade trade sanctions on Iran.

U.S. authorities have accused Huawei of using a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment in Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.

They allege that Meng and Huawei misled U.S. banks about its business dealings in Iran.

In a sworn affidavit released in Canada, Meng insisted she is innocent of the allegations and that she will fight them in a U.S. court if she is extradited there.

In court documents, Huawei asserted that its operations in Iran were "in strict compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and sanctions" of the United States, European Union, and the UN.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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