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The arrest of a top Chinese technology executive by Canadian authorities acting at the behest of the United States is threatening to upend the Trump administration’s efforts to sustain a trade truce with China.

The arrest of Sabrina Meng, the chief financial officer of China’s largest mobile phone marker, has been condemned by Chinese officials, who are calling for her immediate release. The U.S. has reportedly requested Meng be extradited to New York, where she would reportedly face federal charges of violating Iran sanctions.

Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of the Global Times, described the arrest as a “declaration of war” against China, according to the New York Times.  The Global Times is a state-run newspaper whose views are thought to reflect the ruling communist party in China. Hu’s comments were made on Weibo, a Twitter-like service, the New York Times reported.

“Without any solid evidence, the Canadian and US governments trampled on international law by basically ‘kidnapping’ Chinese citizen Meng,” an official with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a Global Times op-ed. “The China-US trade row could become a protracted war.”

The Global Times also reported, in a news story, that Chinese experts view the arrest as an intentional effort to “heat up the ongoing trade war.”

Although Meng and Huawei are not well-known in the U.S., the executive and her company are extremely high profile in China. Precise analogies are hard to come by but U.S. observers are making comparisons to well-known American executives.

“This is like China arresting Steve Jobs’ son,” Art Cashin said on CNBC.

Others have compared it to China arresting Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook.

Meng is the daughter of the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, and has recently become his presumed successor. Ren is a former Chinese military official who founded the company more than 30 years ago. It has become China’s premier global brand and it central to its “Made in China 2025” plan to dominate high-tech manufacturing. The company has been making a push to become the world leader in 5G technology and met with strong resistance from U.S. officials.

It is not clear whether President Donald Trump knew about the arrest in advance. The arrest was reportedly made on the same day that Trump and senior members of his administration were having dinner with their Chinese counterparts in Buenos Aires. After the dinner, the two nations announced they would pause any escalation of tariffs and resume trade negotiations for 90 days.

A source familiar with Justice Department procedures said it is unlikely the U.S. attorneys would have acted without consulting other agencies in pursuing the international arrest. U.S. national Security officials were aware of the arrest prior to the news breaking Wednesday evening, a different source said. It was not clear if they were aware of the arrest beforehand, however.

When the Trump administration blocked the merger of  Qualcomm and Broadcom it singled out the risk that the deal would give Huawei an advantage in developing 5G technology.

Bloomberg quoted an analyst in China who sees the arrest as the result of the national security White House staff pushing back against the Wall Street-friendly China doves in the White House, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who pushed for the trade truce.

“Their goal is to decouple with China,” said Wang Yong, a professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University. “Negotiations are the wish of Trump and Wall Street.”

 

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  • Comment held for moderation.
    Jan Christophersen · 19:57 12/06/2018
    Trump was at dinner with Xi at the time, as he was when he bombed Syria with 50 tomahawks and only killed 6 or 8 men working for the protection of their own country, and had a number terribly burned as they tried to put out burning aircraft. Their children did not get scoops of ice cream.

    Trump knew.

    A week or so ago I saw a video of him with war mongers, snarling kill them all. Kill Afghanis. Trump has bombed 6000 villages in Afghanistan this year.

    ,
    • Comment held for moderation.
      selah · 22:01 12/06/2018
      Article on zerohedge.com says Bolton knew trump did not
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Sherlock · 15:57 12/06/2018
    We can't beat ISIS & AlQueda ..... so good luck with Russia, Iran, China ....
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Reginald Fischer · 14:32 12/06/2018
    The Trump administration keeps jabbing the Dragon and the Bear. Eventually they will be provoked enough to attack.

    And don't kid yourself. The US wouldn't have called for the arrest of Meng during the G20 summit without Trump's express permission.
    • Comment held for moderation.
      selah · 16:01 12/06/2018
      @regi.....Trump's in charge of almost nothing. do you really think things would be going this way if he were? we are all doomed.
  • Comment held for moderation.
    Carl Goldsworthy · 14:25 12/06/2018
    Time for China to dump the odd trillion nor two of USA bonds - see how the market reacts 5, 4, 3, 2, ?
    • Comment held for moderation.
      Leo Gitt · 23:01 12/06/2018
      Sorry, but that ship has already sailed...China and Russia already simultaneously dumped a huge amount of American treasury bonds on the world market in an attempt to undermine the dollar and destroy America's economy... Fail! The bonds were all purchased electronically in less than a second by "unknown American interests"...It had absolutely no effect on the American dollar or the American or world economy...It seems that being able to print unlimited amounts of fiat currency (to amongst other things, snatch bonds up with) and being in control of about 90% of the world's currencies provides a distinct advantage to America and her interests... China/Russia also tried to make the supposedly gold-backed Chinese Yuan/ renminbi the replacement for the dollar and the new world reserve currency... Fail number 2! Problem is, they didn't have the gold they claimed that they had to back the currency and their fraudulent attempts were exposed! Score: America-2, China/Russia-0
  • Comment held for moderation.
    selah · 14:19 12/06/2018
    do you think Trump would have approved of this. i'm betting not. the satanists are pushing, pushing, pushing, everyones buttons. it's gonna blow....soon.
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