China reacted furiously today after a top executive and daughter of the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei was arrested in Canada following a US extradition request, threatening to rattle a trade war truce with the United States.
The detention of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer, comes after American authorities reportedly launched an investigation into suspected Iran sanctions violations by Huawei, which was already under scrutiny by US intelligence officials who deemed the company a national security threat.
The arrest stirred tensions just as the United States and China agreed to a ceasefire in their trade spat while negotiators seek a deal within three months.
"We have made solemn representations to Canada and the US, demanding that both parties immediately clarify the reasons for the detention, and immediately release the detainee to protect the person's legal rights," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular press briefing in Beijing.
Meng was arrested in the western city of Vancouver on December 1, Canada's ministry of justice said in a statement on Wednesday, prompting China's embassy to say it had "seriously harmed the human rights of the victim".