China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, in a protest over the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, and said it will take “further action” if needed.
Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 on the orders of U.S. authorities for allegedly violating American sanctions on selling technology to Iran.
The minister said U.S. actions have violated the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and are extremely bad in nature,” according to a posting on the ministry website. “China will take further action based on the U.S. actions.”
The move comes a day after Canada’s ambassador to China was also summoned to the ministry.
Meng’s arrest, on allegations that she committed fraud to sidestep sanctions against Iran, has become a flash-point in trade tensions between the U.S. and China that’s rattled investors and sent stock markets tumbling.
The U.S. on Friday began a case against the Chinese telecoms giant in a Vancouver courtroom, alleging that Meng had hidden ties between Huawei and a company called Skycom that did business in Iran, said a lawyer representing Canada during the court hearing.
Canada’s presenting the case on behalf of the U.S., which wants to extradite Meng.
Meng, 46, daughter of Huawei’s founder, is spending the weekend in jail after a decision on whether to grant bail was not reached. The case will continue on Monday.