Huawei Case Just Got (More) Political
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The arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in China and unexpected comments from President Trump raise a fresh question about the case of Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou, who has now been released on bail: How political is it?
A bit of background information, excerpt from wikipedia on the topic of Meng Wanzhou, in italics, below:
Meng Wanzhou (Chinese: 孟晚舟; born 13 February 1972), also known as Sabrina Meng and Cathy Meng, is a Chinese business executive. She is deputy chairwoman of the board and chief financial officer(CFO) of China’s largest private company, the telecom giant Huawei founded by her father Ren Zhengfei.
On 1 December 2018, Meng was arrested in Canada at the request of the United States for allegedly defrauding multiple financial institutions. As of December 2018, Meng serves as deputy chairwoman and CFO of Huawei, China’s largest private company with 180,000 employees. In 2017, Forbes ranked Meng at No. 8 in its list of Outstanding Businesswomen of China, while Huawei chairwoman Sun Yafang was ranked second.
On 7 and 10, December Meng attended a bail hearing in Vancouver. No decision was reached after arguments and counter-arguments; the hearing then continued on 11 December. She was released on a $10 million bail ($7 million in cash and $3 million in sureties) that was granted with conditions, including electronic surveillance; several individuals pledged significant amounts as surety for the bail.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that the federal government was aware of the intended arrest but had no involvement in the process. A White House official stated that “President Donald Trump did not know about a U.S. request for her extradition from Canada before he met Chinese President Xi Jinping and agreed to a 90-day truce in the brewing trade war“, while U.S. National Security Advisor John R. Bolton said that he knew in advance of Meng’s arrest.
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer said that Meng Wanzhou’s arrest was a ‘a criminal justice matter’ that should have no impact on the trade talks between both countries, but Trump said he could intervene, in order to get a good trade deal with China. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added, foreign policy must be taken into consideration in this case, and the mission is “America First“. The remarks were met by criticism.
The Chinese embassy in Canada issued a strong statement condemning her arrest and the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the Canadian and American ambassadors in protest over the detention. Chinese media have alleged that the arrest is part of an attempt by the U.S. to stifle Huawei and its other tech companies.
On 9 December 2018, the government of China told Canadian ambassador John McCallum that Meng’s arrest “severely violated the Chinese citizen’s legal and legitimate rights and interests, it is lawless, reasonless and ruthless, and it is extremely vicious” and warned of “serious consequences” unless Meng was released. The subsequent arrest of former diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing may be part of those consequences, according to former Canadian ambassador Guy Saint-Jacques.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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