Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's extradition remains in limbo

Ban ‘unlawful

Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei on Thursday confirmed it is suing the U.S. government over a section of a defense bill passed into law previous year that restricted its business in the United States.

In a statement, the firm said the US Congress has "failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions".

Huawei has fired the latest salvo in its battle with the U.S., confirming it has brought a lawsuit against the United States government over a ban on its telecommunications equipment.

The Chinese telecoms firm has gone on the offensive after months of intense global scrutiny. "After exhausting all other means to alleviate doubts of USA lawmakers we are left with no choice but to challenge the law in court", Guo Ping, one of the three global chairmen of Huawei, said during a live-streamed press conference that was hosted at the company's global headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

The US has ramped up political pressure on Huawei in recent months, requesting the extradition of its CFO Meng Zhou, who was arrested in Canada in December, and has lobbied its allies to reject its 5G equipment which is making its way across the world.

While Huawei had very little share of the US market before the bill, it is the world's biggest telecoms gear maker and is seeking to be at the forefront of a global roll-out of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks and services.

As the global rollout of 5G approaches, Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has brought attention to the fact that the Five Eyes nations (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US) do not have any telecoms capable of winning the 5G race.

Some legal experts, however, said Huawei's lawsuit is likely to be dismissed because US courts are reluctant to second-guess national security determinations by other branches of government.

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The latest import suspension was completely "reasonable and legal" and aimed at protecting the health and safety of Chinese citizens, said Lu.

The United States says Huawei equipment could be manipulated by China's Communist government to spy on other countries and disrupt critical communications.

The case had strained relations with China, which this week accused two arrested Canadians of stealing state secrets in a move widely seen as retribution for Meng's arrest.

China has warned of serious consequences if the Huawei executive is not released.

In Ottawa, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said the government was closely monitoring the situation and any potential impact on Canada's agricultural trading relationship with Beijing.

China suspended canola imports from a Canadian company "in accordance with laws and regulations and global practice", foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a daily news briefing.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei later said Meng's arrest was politically motivated and "not acceptable".

"Huawei has not and will never implant 'back doors, ' " said Guo, the chairman.

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