How they see us: China’s fury over Huawei arrest
The U.S. is “bringing terrorism to business competition,” said Ai Jun in the Global Times (China). Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese tech giant Huawei, was arrested last week while changing planes at Vancouver International Airport, at the request of U.S. authorities, who want her extradited. Meng—the 46-year-old daughter of Huawei’s founder—is accused of selling U.S.-made technology to Iran through a subsidiary in violation of American sanctions. But other firms caught busting U.S. sanctions on Iran merely paid fines, and none had their executives handcuffed. The real target here is Huawei, which “is expected to lead the global race for 5G”—the super-fast next generation of mobile internet. Faced with China’s dominance in this field, “Washington has gone berserk.” It is determined to scare off companies from the U.S. and elsewhere from using Huawei technology, and it has resorted to “mafia-style tactics” to do so. “Kidnapping an executive of an international corporation and holding her hostage as a political tool” is a new low.
Canada has “surrendered to the U.S.’s ugly politics,” said China Daily (China) in an editorial. Meng is “a middle-aged woman who has health issues,” yet she is being “treated as a violent offender”—she was even put in ankle restraints after her first bail hearing. Such treatment smacks of “a show trial intended to humiliate her and China.” Canada is going beyond what is required of it by its extradition treaty with the U.S., and it will face “serious consequences.”
Actually, Canada has been far too cozy with Huawei, said Richard Fadden and Brian Lee Crowley in The Globe and Mail (Canada). The Chinese firm has forged “extensive relationships” with Canadian universities and has promised $50 million to 13 colleges to help develop 5G technology. But Huawei also has close ties to the Chinese military—Meng’s father is a former People’s Liberation Army officer—and under Chinese law the firm can be compelled to spy for Beijing. Doing business with Huawei is a “serious and unacceptable security risk.” After Meng is extradited, Canada should join the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia in banning the use of Huawei-provided 5G equipment.
It’s doubtful Meng will ever face justice, said The Japan Times (Japan). U.S. President Donald Trump was said to be “incensed” when informed of Meng’s arrest. He was told of it just after he’d finished discussing a trade-war truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting in Argentina. Given Trump’s willingness to interfere in judicial matters, we can’t rule out “the possibility that Meng will be used as a political pawn and that she will be released to court Xi.” That would be a mistake. America’s chief complaint against China is that Beijing refuses to “separate politics from economics” and fails to abide by international law. If the U.S. president intervenes in the legal process to achieve an economic outcome, then America will have adopted “the Chinese approach, rather than the reverse.” U.S. credibility would be shattered.