Charges against Huawei and trade talks with China are 'two different issues': US

On 28 January, the United States announced criminal charges against Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on 29 January he expected to see significant progress in trade talks with Chinese officials this week and that US charges against telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd were a separate issue.

“Those are separate issues, and that’s a separate dialogue,” Mnuchin said in an interview with Fox Business Network. “So those are not part of trade discussions. Forced technology issues are part of trade discussions, but any issues as it relates to violations of US law or US sanctions are going through a separate track.”

Charges against Huawei and trade talks with China are two different issues: US

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a TV interview at the White House in Washington. Image: Reuters

China’s Vice Premier Liu He is leading a delegation for high-level trade and economic talks in Washington this week, including a meeting with US President Donald Trump.

On 28 January, the United States announced criminal charges against Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou and the Chinese technology firm. But Mnuchin said he did not expect the issue to be part of the economic talks.

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was arrested in Canada in December and is fighting extradition to the United States.

Mnuchin said the US security concerns raised by the Huawei case were separate from the conversation on trade and forced technology.

“There are two different issues. One is an issue of state subsidies” regarding Beijing’s subsidies, he said. The other, he added, was a national security issue focused on U.S. infrastructure and cybersecurity.

“These are separate issues and shouldn’t be confused,” Mnuchin said.

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