Huawei executive’s arrest provokes anti-US protests in China
13 December 2018
Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, has provoked outrage in China. Meng was released on bail on harsh and humiliating conditions on Tuesday after 10 days in detention. She faces extradition to the United States on two fraud charges, each carrying jail terms of up to 30 years. She is due back in court on February 6 for extradition proceedings that could last for months.
Meng is accused of misleading American financial institutions into allowing transactions involving the sale of goods to Iran banned under US sanctions. Meng’s detention is part of a far broader US campaign, under both the Obama and Trump administrations, aimed at undermining Huawei and other Chinese tech companies.
The political character of Meng’s arrest was underscored by US President Donald Trump’s comments to Reuters, which made clear her fate was a bargaining chip in US-China trade relations. Trump declared he would “certainly intervene” in the case if he thought it was “good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made” or “good for national security.”
Trump’s remarks undermine claims by the Canadian government that Meng’s detention was purely a legal-administrative matter and was not political or the result of pressure from Washington. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was at pains to maintain the deceit, declaring: “Regardless of what goes on other countries, Canada is—and will always remain—a country of the rule of law.”
Meng’s treatment, however, has led to a wave of anger in China against both Canada and the US. “On Chinese social media, the US and Canadian embassies’ accounts on the Weibo…