Saturday 15 December 2018
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Chinese state media says US trying to stifle Huawei with arrest

BEIJING — 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 (Dec 7), as sources indicated that Japan is set to become the latest country to ban government purchases of equipment from the company. The official China Daily said in an editorial there was still no telling on what grounds Ms Meng Wanzhou, the 46-year-old daughter of the company s founder, had been detained and that it seemed to be part of US plans to pressure its allies not to use Huawei goods. But one thing that is undoubtedly true and proven is the US 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-US 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. Ms Meng, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd s chief financial officer, was detained in Canada on Dec 1, the same day US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Mr Trump did not know about plans to arrest a top executive at the Chinese telecoms giant in Canada, two US 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 Ms Meng s immediate release, and complained neither Canada nor the US have given a reason for the arrest. Influential tabloid the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party s People s Daily, said the US was resorting to a despicable rogue s approach as it cannot stop Huawei s 5G advance in the market . The US was abusing legal procedure to stifle Huawei , it said. Despite incomplete information about the incident, the US move obviously goes against the consensus reached between the heads of state of China and the US in Argentina, the paper wrote. The incident shows that China faces a complicated competition with the US Beijing needs determination and wisdom to safeguard its own interests, it said. Meanwhile, sources told Reuters that Japan plans to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE Corp to beef up its defences against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks. The Yomiuri newspaper, which first reported the news earlier on Friday said the government was expected to revise its internal rules on procurement as early as Monday. The government does not plan to specifically name Huawei and ZTE in the revision, but will put in place measures aimed at strengthening security that apply to the companies, a person with direct knowledge and a person briefed on the matter said. The move follows a decision by the US this year to ban government purchases of Huawei gear. US intelligence agencies allege Huawei is linked to China s government and that its equipment could contain backdoors for use by spies, although no evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has denied the claims. Australia and New Zealand have already blocked Huawei from building 5G networks. Britain s BT Group said on Wednesday it was removing Huawei s equipment from the core of its existing 3G and 4G mobile operations and would not use the company in central parts of the next network. Japan s chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga declined to comment. But he noted that the country has been in close communication with the US on a wide range of areas, including cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is becoming an important issue in Japan, he told a regular news conference. We ll take firm measures looking at it from a variety of perspectives. REUTERS

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