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Trump, Huawei, and the Politics of Extradition

Making Sense of the Meng Case

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou at an investment forum in Moscow, October 2014. Reuters

On December 1, Canadian police, acting at the request of U.S. authorities, arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou during a layover in Vancouver. A judge in New York had issued a warrant for Meng’s arrest on August 22, alleging that between 2010 and 2014, Meng had conspired to commit bank fraud by concealing links between Huawei and two shell companies that it used to conduct business in Iran, enabling Huawei to access the dollar-based financial system in violation of U.S. secondary sanctions. Washington is now seeking Meng’s extradition to the United States.

The arrest was a bombshell. Huawei is the world’s largest manufacturer of telecoms equipment, and Meng is the daughter of the company’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, a former military engineer believed to be well connected within the Chinese Communist Party. Beijing was outraged. In an op-ed for a Canadian newspaper, the Chinese ambassador

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