Following the United States’ indictment of Huawei — the Chinese giant high-tech firm that the Department of Justice alleges stole technology and violated sanctions against Iran — China said it will “firmly defend” its companies and warned the United States to “stop the unreasonable crackdown.”
As the Associated Press reports, the Chinese foreign ministry read its ultimatum over state media Tuesday, suggesting the United States has “mobilized state power” to inhibit Huawei’s sales and “strangle fair and just operations.”
“We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei,” said the statement,” adding that it will assist the “lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.” (RELATED: Report: Multinational Intelligence Chiefs Briefed Trudeau On Huawei Security Risk)
The Department of Justice is charging the high-tech firm with 23 criminal offenses, including technology theft, fraud and money laundering. It is also seeking the extradition of the Huawei’s chief financial officer who was arrested by Canadian police in December but who was allowed to return home after posting $10 million (CAD) in bail.
Although China is now venting its displeasure with the United States, it continues to advise Canada not to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.
Chinese state media has increased the level of rhetoric against Canada since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired his ambassador to China, long-time Liberal cabinet minister John McCallum. McCallum called on the Canadian government to release Meng, suggesting Canada was caught in the middle of a superpower struggle.
China has arrested two Canadians and sentenced a third to the death penalty since Meng appeared in court. At a news conference in Ottawa attended by The Daily Caller, Trudeau suggested the death sentence for Robert Schellenberg was an example of China “arbitrarily” applying its laws.
Schellenberg was convicted of drug smuggling and first given a 15-year prison sentence. His case was then reopened and a new sentence applied. (RELATED: China Calls Trudeau Irresponsible For Criticizing Canadian’s Death Sentence)
The deteriorating relationship between Canada and China comes after decades of increasingly warm relations between the two countries. When once asked by reporters what country’s economy he most admired, Trudeau replied “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China. Their basic dictatorship is actually allowing them to turn their economy around on a dime.”