Minitrue: Stay in Line on Polish Huawei Arrest

The following instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

All websites: on the arrest of a employee in , report strictly in line with statements from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and do not comment without authorization or make interpretations. (January 14, 2019) [Chinese]

Huawei sales director Stanislaw Wang Weijing, who handled equipment sales to government customers, was charged with espionage last Friday and subsequently fired for having "brought Huawei into disrepute." Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying addressed Wang’s arrest in a regular press conference on Monday. From her comments:

Q: Last week, Poland arrested a Chinese employee of Huawei in Poland for allegedly spying and I noted that the Chinese Embassy in Poland said that it was opposed to deliberate smearing and unwarranted fabrications. I want to ask if that means China views this allegation as false?

A: Regarding this case you mentioned, we noted that both the relevant Polish side and Huawei have said in their statements that the case of Wang Weijing is entirely an individual one. The Polish side should arrange for a consular visit by the Chinese side immediately, handle this case in accordance with the law and regulations on the basis of facts, and earnestly safeguard the legitimate and legal interests and humanitarian treatment of the person involved.

[…] Q: Some people have compared the situation with Poland to the one with Canada and suggested that Polish citizens in China might now be at risk of sort of "retaliatory" detention. So I would like to ask you do Polish citizens in China need to worry about China taking any "retaliatory" measures against them since the Chinese citizen was arrested in Poland?

A: On China’s part, we value our relationship with Poland and believe that maintaining the sound and steady development of China-Poland relations serve the common interests of the two countries. We hope that Poland will move towards the same direction and make joint efforts with China, do more to enhance our mutual trust and cooperation so as to ensure the continuous sound and steady development of China-Poland relations.

The relevant Chinese departments handle the individual cases of foreigners in China in accordance with laws and regulations. I don’t think it’s necessary for certain individuals to issue groundless warnings out of fear. I believe foreign citizens are always welcome in China as long as they abide by Chinese laws and regulations and their safety and freedom are guaranteed. [Source]

The case comes amid ongoing fallout from the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada for suspected violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which was followed by apparently retaliatory detentions of Canadians in China and the resentencing to death of a Canadian convicted for drug smuggling. The U.S. has long warned that Huawei represents a security threat, and Poland is now reportedly considering a ban on the use of Huawei products by public bodies, as well as potential legislation to enable broader restrictions. Reuters offers a survey of similar suspicions and prospective restrictions around Europe, while Jichang Lulu and Martin Hála described "Huawei’s Battle for Eastern Europe" in detail at Project Sinopsis (via CDT) last week.

真Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth