10:59 GMT09 March 2021
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    The arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities at the request of the US is “unprecedented” and “absolutely scandalous,” argues Jude Woodward, who has taught at universities in China and authored the book “The US vs China: Asia’s New Cold War?”

    A Canadian judge set bail for Meng at $10 million on Tuesday, requiring that she be subject to electronic monitoring, follow a curfew and be accompanied by security detail when she leaves her residence in Canada, Sputnik News reported.

    Meng is charged with defrauding the United States after she allegedly hid Huawei's ties to another company from financial institutions in order to sidestep anti-Iran sanctions.

    ​"It's absolutely scandalous what's been done. It's unbelievable to arrest an individual because you claim that their company has breached a sanction. That's completely unprecedented," Woodward told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear.

    Meng was arrested as US President Donald Trump was in Argentina for the G20 summit.

    "China is being quite careful, actually, because given that tensions with the United States are so high anyway over the tariffs, et cetera, and there was this glimmering of an opening at the G20 to get some negotiations on that, I think they don't want to escalate this," Woodward added.

    US President Donald Trump said after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 1 in Buenos Aires that there would be a truce in the trade war between China and the US.

    Trump, however, claims he did not know about the arrest of Meng ahead of the meeting. National Security Advisor John Bolton, however, says he did. Bolton sat in on the meeting without saying a word about it. 

    Less than an hour after the Canadian judge granted bail to Meng, Trump said that he would intervene in her case should it serve US national security interests or help him close a trade deal with China.

    One "interesting" question, Woodward said, is whether the timing was "deliberately done to derail the progress at the G20, or is one side of the administration working against another side of the administration?"

    "The internal Canadian issue" is their government acting as a supplicant to Trump, but globally, she says the issue is whether the US is going to "establish the new norm" wherein breaches of US sanctions by a foreign company are dealt with by the US organizing "the arrest of individual executives inside a company."

    "I mean — JP Morgan Chase was found in breach of the US sanctions on Cuba, but we didn't see their key executives being put in leg irons," Woodward told Loud & Clear hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker. "It's absolutely an incredible way to behave."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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