ANY FLEETING GOODWILL between Beijing and Washington generated by the signing of the phase one economic and trade agreement earlier this week is likely to evaporate early next week when a court in Vancouver opens an extradition hearing for Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.
The United States wants to bring her to stand trial on charges of bank fraud in connection with allegations that she lied to HSBC about her company’s operations in Iran. Meng denies the allegation and is fighting the extradition attempt.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was at pains this week to underline how the Trump administration wanted to separate its trade and what he called national security issues with China. However, the message from President Xi Jinping read out at the signing ceremony calling for fair treatment for Chinese companies suggests that Beijing sees them of a piece.
There is little sign of the US campaign against the telecoms giant easing off. If anything, it is ramping up the pressure on allies to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks and is reportedly considering tighter restrictions on what US companies can sell to the firm.