Why was Huawei's head of finance arrested?
Meng Wanzhou, head of finance of Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei, has been arrested in Vancouver at the behest of the US authorities. The US is reportedly accusing her of having violated US trade sanctions against Iran and pushing for her extradition. The US and China are heading for a major confrontation, commentators warn and suspect that other interests may be behind the arrest.
Washington needs to do some explaining
The Financial Times looks at how Meng Wanzhou's arrest is being perceived:
“In the absence of more clarity and detail from US authorities about the charges against her, her arrest appears provocative. … Ms Meng's arrest may be linked to US sanctions on Iran. But given the broader alarm over Huawei, it risks being interpreted as the use of American power to pursue political and economic ends rather than straightforward law enforcement. Beijing certainly sees it that way and may be encouraged to take retaliatory action that further inflames the trade dispute.”
Trade war would hit the entire global economy
Meng Wanzhou's arrest could add fuel to the fire of the trade war between the US and China, journalist Ivan Jakovyna fears in Novoye Vremya:
“If the US wants to it can make things pretty unpleasant for its opponents. ... Beijing has hit the roof because Huawei Technologies is a flagship of China's electronics industry. The Chinese suspect that this is a ploy by the US to distort competition (which may be true considering Trump's character). Moreover the arrest could send another signal for expanding the trade war between the world's two largest economies. Such a war would inevitably drag the entire global economy down.”
Misconduct on both sides
Both Trump's behaviour and that of the Huawei group deserve criticism, writes El Periódico de Catalunya:
“No one is questioning the fact that the Chinese company - like all big companies - tends to impose its own rules. The distrust of many countries that fear that the company is developing an espionage network through its products and gain global control is justified. What is at issue now is Trump's willingness to respect the compromises reached, in this case at the G20 summit, and also Huawei's willingness to give sufficient guarantees to ensure that it is no longer suspected of being at the service of the Chinese government. Without such guarantees the digital cold war will unremittingly affect the growth of the global economy and have an especially detrimental impact on the emerging markets that are becoming weaker day by day.”