Washington denies releasing Huawei leadership in a prisoner exchange deal

FILE PHOTO: Then-US Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands inside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on December 4, 2013. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang

Written by Alexandra Alber and Michael Martin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Monday that the near-simultaneous release of the directives of Huawei and two detained Canadians shortly after the chief executive’s arrest was not a prisoner exchange case, though the two cases were referred to in a phone call. Between the Chinese and American presidents held a few weeks ago.

El viernes, la directora financiera de Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, voló a su casa en China desde Canadá tras llegar a un acuerdo con los fiscales estadounidenses para poner fin al caso de fraud e bancario en su contra, que supuso un punto de tensión entre China United State.

Within hours of the agreement, Chinese authorities released the two Canadians who had been detained shortly after Meng’s arrest, after which they were on their way to Canada. Beijing has denied that both arrests are related to the Meng case.

When asked if the White House was involved in brokering a “prisoner exchange,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki dismissed the idea.

He said the prosecution’s deferred agreement with Meng was “an action by the Department of Justice, which is an independent Department of Justice. It is a matter of law enforcement,” adding: “No connection.”

However, Psaki also emphasized that in a call made on September 9, two weeks before the announcement, Chinese President Xi Jinping raised Meng’s case, and US President Joe Biden lobbied for the release of the two Canadians, businessman Michael Spavor and former diplomat. Michael Kovrig, has been held in China for over a thousand days.

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“These two leaders raised the issues of these individuals, but there were no negotiations on the matter,” Psaki said.

Separately, two American brothers banned from leaving China since 2018 returned to the United States at the weekend, according to a US official. Cynthia and Victor Liu have been subject to an ‘exit ban’ even though they have not yet been charged with a criminal offense. His father, former bank manager and fugitive Liu Changming, is wanted in China for fraud.

Psaki said he had no information on whether Biden was aware of the status of negotiations between Meng’s lawyers and the Justice Department.

Meng was detained at Vancouver International Airport, in Canada, under a US arrest warrant, after which she was charged with bank fraud and upfront for misleading HSBC in 2013 about the banking giant’s business. Telecommunications equipment in Iran.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper, Steve Holland, Michael Martina, Jeff Mason, David Bronstrom and Simon Lewis; Editing by Jonathan Otis and Heather Timmons; Translated by Thomas Cobos)

Aileen Morales

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