February 19, 2019 12:57 pm
Updated: February 19, 2019 12:58 pm

Huawei founder defiant on Meng charges, spying allegations: ‘No way the U.S. can crush us’

WATCH: Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said the arrest of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, was politically motivated

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The head of Chinese telecom giant Huawei called the arrest of his daughter, Meng Wanzhou, “politically motivated,” in an interview with the BBC.

Ren Zhengfei made the comments in his first international interview since the charges against Meng were announced.

In his first interview since Meng’s arrest, Ren Zhengdei denied any wrongdoing by his company or Meng, who is the CFO of Huawei.

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Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 and faces extradition to the U.S. on charges including fraud and stealing trade secrets. The charges are in relation to business dealings with Iran, which is under U.S. sanctions.

“Firstly, I object to what the U.S. has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable,” Ren told the BBC.

“The U.S. likes to sanction others, whenever there’s an issue, they’ll use such combative methods.

“We object to this. But now that we’ve gone down this path, we’ll let the courts settle it.”

The term “politically motivated” has been floated a lot in relation to Meng’s arrest.

John McCallum, Canada’s former ambassador to China, told Chinese-language media in a closed-door meeting in January that Meng has “strong arguments” that her arrest was politicized. He was later fired.

WATCH: McCallum out as Canadian ambassador to China after comments on Meng extradition

Experts also questioned the politics behind the arrest after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he could step in on Meng’s case if it helped trade negotiations between the two countries.

READ MORE: Donald Trump says he’d step in on Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s case if it helped with a trade deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the arrest was made without political bias.

“I can assure everyone that we are a country of an independent judiciary and the appropriate authorities took the decisions without any political involvement and interference,” he said.

The U.S. Justice Department also denied political involvement in the charges.

“The Justice Department’s criminal case against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is based solely on the evidence and the law. The Department pursues cases free of any political interference and follows the evidence and rule of law in pursuing criminal charges,” spokeswoman Nicole Navas said in an email to Reuters.

READ MORE: U.K. approval of Huawei 5G networks would give Canada breathing room, expert says

Along with the criminal charges, Huawei is facing allegations of spying — with western intelligence officials alleging the company could spy for the Chinese government.

U.S., Australia and New Zealand have banned the company from the upcoming 5G mobile network while Canadian officials are reviewing Huawei’s products.

READ MORE: Telus says ban on Huawei over national security concerns could set back 5G network plan

But Ren said he wasn’t worried about being left behind in the Global market, saying: “There’s no way the U.S. can crush us.”

“The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit,” Ren said.

“If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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