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Trade war

Beijing summons US ambassador over Huawei detention

Vice Foreign Minister demands withdrawal of arrest warrant, as trade war escalates

BEIJING -- A senior Chinese Foreign Ministry official summoned the American ambassador to Beijing on Sunday, and said the U.S. should withdraw its arrest warrant for Huawei Technologies executive Meng Wanzhou, who is currently detained in a Canadian jail.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng lodged solemn representations and strong protests to U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad, the ministry said in a statement.

Le said that Canadian authorities had detained Meng, Huawei's chief financial officer, "at the unreasonable behest of the United States."

"What the United States has done severely violates Chinese citizen's legitimate rights and interests, and is vile in nature," Le said, in language similar to his protest to the Canadian ambassador on Saturday.

"China will respond further according to the U.S. side's actions," Le added.

The summoning of the ambassador was the most public display of frustration after Meng was arrested on Dec. 1, the day that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met over dinner in Argentina to discuss ways to defuse the trade war.

Trump administration officials have said that Trump was not aware of the arrest heading into the dinner.

While Le's warned of further action against Washington, the wording was somewhat milder than those he said to John McCallum, the Canadian ambassador. To McCallum, Le has said Canada would "face grave consequences" if the Huawei executive was not immediately released.

Meng, the 46-year old daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Vancouver, as she was switching flights. A New York judged had issued an arrest warrant for Meng on Aug. 22, according to court hearings in Vancouver on Friday.

She is suspected of taking part in a scheme to hide Huawei's transactions with Iran, in violation of American sanctions. Anticipating her trip to Canada, U.S. authorities sought cooperation from the Canadian side in November in order to detain her.

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