China's President Xi Jinping with US President Donald Trump in Beijing's Great Hall of the People last year. Photo: AFP / Jim Watson
Photo: AFP / Jim Watson

Trade negotiations between the US and China are progressing and will be extended through the weekend, US President Donald Trump told reporters Friday, adding that he will consider delaying the March 1 deadline for a trade deal with China, a prospect he has raised several times recently.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He arrived earlier this week and senior officials concluded two days’ of talks on Friday.

The latest bombshell development in the trade talks broke late Friday afternoon, when it was reported that Trump is considering dropping charges against Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei as part of a trade deal.

The US president said he will discuss intervening in the criminal case, which has ensnared the company’s chief financial officer, with his newly appointed attorney general in the coming weeks. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also the company’s founder’s daughter, was arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver last December at the behest of the US. She is facing possible extradition to the US where she would face trial for fraud charges.

While Trump has suggested leniency in the case could be part of a deal in the past, his comments on Friday mark the most explicit statement yet that the judicial process in the US is not independent.

The Canadian government has taken great pains to argue that the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is a matter for the independent judiciary, resisting pressure from Beijing to intervene.

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