Meng Wanzhou Photo: VCG
Whether or not the extradition case against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou will come to an end hinges on a crucial decision that will be released by a Canadian judge on Wednesday. According to Canadian media reports, if the judge decides that the extradition case fails to satisfy the rule of double criminality, Meng could be set free.
Since Meng’s arrest at Vancouver’s airport on December 1, 2018 at the request of the US government, Chinese netizens have been keeping close track of developments. There have already been discussions regarding whether or not Meng could return to China on Chinese social media. We hope the Canadian side will be able to make its ruling in a fair and transparent manner.
Some Chinese netizens said Canada has helped the US take Meng hostage to impose a crackdown on Huawei. Similar tactics were used by the US in the 2013 arrest of Frederic Pierucci, an executive of French conglomerate Alstom, and the incident is believed by many to have facilitated GE’s takeover of Alstom.
It is no secret that the US has resorted to cracking down on Huawei to contain China’s high-tech development. But Huawei has proven to be a tougher-than-expected target, and its resilience to US attacks since late 2018 has also brought to light the company’s powerful advances in 5G technologies.
To a certain extent, Meng’s case represents how far the US will go to suppress Chinese high-tech companies. And US authorities have apparently escalated their crackdown on Huawei and other Chinese companies in recent days. The US Commerce Department had just banned Huawei from manufacturing and obtaining semiconductor chips using US-made software and technology before adding an additional 33 Chinese companies and institutions to an economic sanctions blacklist. The development explains why Meng’s case has drawn particular attention from Chinese netizens.
The Canadian judiciary system’s handling of the case will come under scrutiny from Chinese netizens, which is why Canada must be careful not to politicize it. While we have no intention of interfering in the decision of the Canadian court, we hope the Canadian side is aware of the importance of a fair ruling for Chinese people.
A decision that panders to the Trump administration would only lead to a rise in netizen resentment, which would affect bilateral relations between China and Canada.