China, Huawei Reject Charges by US Justice Department
Huawei Technologies (File Photo)

Toronto, January 29: China and Huawei have rejected the charges laid against the Chinese telecom firm by the US Department of Justice and called the developments – concerning and disappointing. It also accused the United States of "political motivations" behind the sweeping charges that have been slapped against Chinese telecom giant Huawei. This latest development combined with the ongoing trade war has ratcheted up tensions between the two superpowers.

China's foreign ministry said there were "strong political motivations and political manipulations" behind the charges. "For some time, the U.S. has used state power to smear and suppress specific Chinese companies in an attempt to stifle their legitimate business activities," ministry spokesman Geng Shaung said at a regular briefing.

"We strongly urge the U.S. to stop the unreasonable suppression of Chinese companies including Huawei and to treat them fairly and objectively. China will also resolutely defend the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises."

The US Justice Department has brought 23 charges against Huawei and its two executives including the firm’s CFO Meng Wanzhou who is under arrest in Canada. The firm has been charged with stealing trade secrets, committing wire fraud and misrepresentation to global banks in order to evade US sanctions on Iran.

Huawei said it was "disappointed" and denied that it committed any of the allegations. It added that it was "not aware of any wrongdoing by Ms Meng (Wanzhou), and believes the US courts will ultimately reach the same conclusion."

The charges against Meng Wanzhou, which were filed in a court in New York, say that as Huawei’s CFO, she sought to mask their business with Iran in violation of US and UN sanctions on the country. Meng in particular "repeatedly lied" to bankers about the relationships between the companies, especially with Skycom, a Huawei affiliate in Iran, according to the charges.

The charges were announced on the same day Chinese Vice Premier Liu He arrived in Washington to lead trade talks between the two countries.