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Huawei charges an attempt to 'strangle' Chinese business, Beijing says

By Darryl Coote
Huawei charges an attempt to 'strangle' Chinese business, Beijing says
Chinese officials slammed U.S. charges on Tuesday against the Beijing-based cellphone maker. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 29 (UPI) -- China condemned the U.S. charges against Huawei Tuesday as political manipulation to obstruct the legitimate business operations of its company.

"The U.S. has been using national power to tarnish and crack down on specific Chinese companies in an attempt to strangle their lawful and legitimate operations," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement. "Behind such practices are deep political intentions and manipulations."

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He said China "strongly" urges the United States to stop its "unreasonable bashing on Chinese companies including Huawei, and treat them objectively and fairly."

China will defend the legitimate rights and interests of its companies, he said.

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China's ministry of industry and information technology also called the indictments "unfair and immoral," the Guardian reported.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed 13 indictments against Chinese smartphone giant Huawei and its chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, as well as two affiliates, Huawei Device USA Inc. and Skycom Tech Co. Ltd. The company and its affiliates face a slew of fraud and obstruction of justice charges.

Huawei has denied the charges, saying it is "disappointed" its efforts to discuss the matter with the United States were not accepted.

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"The company denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations," the company said, adding that U.S. officials will not find any wrongdoing by Wanzhou.

Geng said Tuesday the arrest of Wanzhou violated her rights and the United States and Canada are abusing their bilateral extradition agreement against a Chinese citizen "for no reason."

"We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its arrest warrant from Ms. Wanzhou, refrain from making a formal extradition request, and stop going further down the wrong path."

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Geng then warned Canada from risking its own interests for the benefit of the United States.

Tensions between China and the two North American countries have been steadily rising since December when Wanzhou was arrested in Canada. She is currently out on bail but U.S. officials seek to extradite her to face charges in New York. She is due back in court Feb. 6, CNN reported.

Since the arrest, China has separately detained Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in December on national security charges, arrests largely seen as retaliation against the North American country for having arrested Wanzhou.

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