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Trade war

Huawei CFO freed on bail as US and China resume trade talks

Trump suggests case could factor in negotiations and hints at intervention

Meng is accused by the U.S. of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions.

WASHINGTON -- Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou was granted bail by a Canadian court on Tuesday, as the U.S. seeks her extradition while negotiating a trade deal with Beijing.

Meng, 46, the daughter of Huawei's founder, has been accused by U.S. authorities of misleading multinational banks over transactions linked to Iran, putting the institutions at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

China has protested the arrest and warned of "severe consequences" unless Meng is released. She was taken into custody on Dec. 1, the day U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 90-day truce in their reciprocal tariff hikes.

In an interview with Reuters, Trump suggested Meng's situation may factor into U.S.-China trade talks, which he said had recently begun, and raised the possibility of White House intervention in the investigation.

"It's also possible it will be a part of negotiations," he said, "but we'll speak to the Justice Department, we'll speak to them."

Beijing has insisted that Meng is innocent, while Huawei released a statement on Wednesday saying that it had "every confidence that the Canadian and U.S. legal systems will reach a just conclusion," adding that it complied with all laws and regulations where it operates.

Trump added that he was willing to meet with Xi again on trade issues if necessary.

The U.S. president wants China to open its markets to U.S. exports and cease practices such as alleged intellectual property rights violations, cyber espionage and forced technology transfers.

Meng was granted bail of 10 million Canadian dollars ($7.5 million) on Tuesday by Justice William Ehrcke at a court hearing in Vancouver. She must remain in Canada and will be subject to physical and electronic surveillance. She was ordered to reappear in court on Feb. 6.

Huawei, which makes smartphones and network equipment, said it looked forward to a "timely resolution" of the case.

Bail was granted shortly after news emerged of a Canadian citizen, believed to be former diplomat Michael Kovrig, being detained in China.

The Canadian government said it saw no explicit link to the Huawei case, but analysts have suggested retaliation from Beijing.

"In China there are no coincidences ... If they want to send you a message they will send you a message," said Guy Saint-Jacques, Canada's former ambassador to China.

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