The arrest of Meng Wanzhou has exposed trade war battle lines at a delicate time for both China and the US, following the announcement of a ‘truce’ in the trade war.
The BBC has referred to her as a ‘hostage’.
China has said the arrest violates, ‘human rights’.
This is a bit rich from a country that puts hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens in ‘re-education’ camps.
But there is an important underlying issue to address here, specifically cyber espionage.
Arrest is about more than Iran sanctions
While the arrest is putatively about the violation of US sanction on Iran, long held suspicions that Huawei is a vehicle for Chinese snooping could be driving the charges against Meng Wanzhou.
According to Vancouver’s The Star:
‘On Friday, the first day of Meng’s bail hearing at the B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver, Crown prosecutors revealed the nature of the claims for the first time. A warrant from the Eastern District of New York alleges Meng knew Huawei was operating a company called SkyCom to do business with Iran, which has been subject to U.S. sanctions since 1979.
‘The U.S. authorities allege Meng committed fraud by telling an HSBC executive her company was in compliance with U.S. sanctions against Iran limiting communication technology. The meeting took place in 2013, but the location was not revealed.’
In effect, this is a bit like Al Capone being imprisoned for tax evasion — everyone knew he was a gangster, but what authorities finally got him on was a lesser crime.
With regards to Meng Wanzhou, lying to a bank is certainly a serious crime, but potentially a small one compared to what Huawei has been accused of in the past.
Free report: Australia’s right to free speech is under attack! Discover how a select group of Australians want to stifle your fundamental right to speak your mind — and what you can do to help turn the tide.
Fundamental risk to American national security
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said that Chinese telecommunications companies ‘represent a fundamental risk to American national security’.
‘We need a comprehensive plan to hold the Chinese and their state-sponsored entities accountable for gross violations of the law and threats to our security.’
Indeed, these fears are well founded.
According to research by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, it is estimated that cyberespionage by China has cost the US a total of $600 billion over the last two decades or more.
Given such a massive figure is involved, it puts the trade war in context.
It also makes trade war doves seem naïve, or worse, unconcerned about an ascendant China and the unscrupulous means it employs to further its rise. The US has legitimate grievances against China.
Huawei has recently been banned from participating in Australia’s rollout of the 5G network on national security grounds.
PS: The politically correct brigade in Australia wants to stifle anything you say if they deem it ‘dangerous’, or even if it just hurts someone’s feelings. This free report reveals more.