Huawei fights back against being used as “a bargaining chip” in US-China trade dispute

Lawyers for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou have applied to the Canadian court to seek a stay in her extradition to the United States, reports Reuters.

These applications are partially based on Meng’s lawyer claiming that the integrity of the judicial process was destroyed by the US as it was intending to use Meng “as a bargaining chip in a trade dispute”.

Trump previously told Reuters that “if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary”.

Meng’s lawyers claim that these comments were “offensive and ominous” and added that Trump’s history of interference in other high-profile prosecutions – including that of former friend and associate Roger Stone – makes the statement “all the more intimidating”.

The lawyers also claim that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also politicised the situation by linking Meng’s release to the release of two Canadian businesspeople by China.

Trudeau also said in December 2019 that he had asked Trump not to confirm a trade deal with China until the situation regarding Meng and the two Canadians had been resolved.

“The clear implication of these comments is that the Prime Minister has communicated to the [United States] that he supports its use of [Ms. Meng’s] case as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations,” said Meng’s lawyers.

Africa should make its own decisions

While the situation with Huawei has arguably been politicised in other regions, Dr David Monyae, from the University of Johannesburg argues that Africa must be allowed to make its own decisions about Huawei.

“Africa is a growing consumer of technology and needs it to tackle the challenges of virtual isolation against the rest of the world. Huawei has established itself across Africa and, predictably the US has been loathsome to this development. China has been very emphatic in its opposition to American animosity,” he said

Huawei South African Region director of media affairs Edison Xie said that Huawei is both a veteran and a pioneer in Africa’s ICT infrastructure.

He highlighted that Huawei’s contribution to the continent has resulted in it achieving many “firsts,” including:

  • The first 3G network in Africa
  • The first 4G network in Africa
  • The first 4.5G network in Africa
  • The first 5G pilot network in Africa
  • The first 5G commercial network in Africa
  • The first 5G standalone network in Africa

“During the past two decades, we have built hundreds of thousands of 3G/4G wireless sites in Africa, covering over 900 million Africa population from the coast of the Mediterranean to Cape Town,” said Xie.

“In terms of 5G, Huawei is probably the most enthusiastic advocate and practitioner in introducing the latest 5G technologies to the African market.”

Xie also highlighted the ways Huawei has used its ICT expertise to benefit African communities – including the training of over 80,000 engineers, various projects which have encouraged and enabled African youths, and the promotion of ICT literacy among the public – including a recent 5G workshop for the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services.

Xie also highlighted that Huawei has played a big part in the fight against COVID-19 on the continent, including the resolution of network congestion to ensure business, education, production, and medical care could continue unhindered.

Now read: Rain and Huawei jointly launch Africa’s first standalone 5G network

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Huawei fights back against being used as “a bargaining chip” in US-China trade dispute