China fired back on Tuesday over criminal charges against Huawei, calling them politically motivated and urging the U.S. to stop “unreasonable bashing” of Chinese companies.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against Huawei and its former CFO, Meng Wanzhou on Monday, alleging that the company stole trade secrets, violated trade sanctions against Iran, committed wire fraud and obstructed justice.
“For some time, 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,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement on Tuesday. “Behind such practices are deep political intentions and manipulations. We strongly urge the U.S. to stop its unreasonable bashing on Chinese companies including Huawei, and treat them objectively and fairly.”
Geng called on the U.S. “to immediately withdraw its arrest warrant for Ms. Meng Wanzhou, refrain from making a formal extradition request, and stop going further down the wrong path.”
Meng was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver by Canadian authorities at the request of the U.S. and is currently out on U.S. $7.6 million bail while awaiting extradition.
On Monday evening, Canada’s Justice Department confirmed that officials had received a formal extradition request from the U.S., Canadian broadcaster CBC reported.
Huawei denied any wrongdoing in a statement Tuesday, saying it was “disappointed to learn of the charges brought against the company.”
Huawei “denies that it or its subsidiary or affiliate have committed any of the asserted violations,” the statement said, adding that the company “is not aware of any wrongdoing of Ms. Meng and believes the U.S. courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion.”