Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said in a new interview with CNN that his daughter Meng Wanzhou — the company’s CFO who is under house arrest in Canada and fighting extradition to the US — should be proud to be caught in the cross fire between the US and Huawei.
Meng was arrested at the behest of the US while stopping over in Vancouver, British Columbia, just over a year ago. “She should be proud to have been caught in this situation,” Ren said. “In the fight between the two nations, she became a bargaining chip.”
Huawei is at the center of the US-China trade war. Meng was accused last December of violating trade sanctions with Iran through Huawei subsidiaries. She has denied the allegations. The US later placed Huawei on a trade blacklist, citing national security concerns. Huawei has denied accusations that it spies for China.
“As a father I of course care about my children,” Ren said. “However, the experience of hardship is good and suffering is good for Meng and her growth.”
It isn’t the first curious parental comment from Ren. The entrepreneur has previously said his children have not had enough hardship in their lives.
“Under the grand backdrop of the China-US trade war she is like a small ant, being caught between the collision of two giant powers,” he said.
While Meng’s mother and Meng’s husband fly out to see her in Vancouver, Ren said he talked to her on the phone and sometimes sent her “funny stories I saw online.” He added that their relationship had become closer since her arrest.
“In the past Meng Wanzhou might not give me a single call in a whole year,” he said. “She wouldn’t ask how I was, or even send me a text message.”
“It was never my intention to be stuck here so long, but I suddenly find that a whole year has snuck by, and here I still am,” she wrote. Meng lives in two houses she owns in Vancouver, according to CNN, and has to wear an ankle tag.
“Right now, time seems to pass slowly,” she said. “It is so slow that I have enough time to read a book from cover to cover. I can take the time to discuss minutiae with my colleagues or to carefully complete an oil painting.”