Source: CGTN Published: 2018-12-12
After three days of hearings, Huawei's chief financial officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou was released on bail in Canada. She was arrested on December 1 on charge of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions and could be extradited to the United States.
The unreasonable detention, harshly criticized as a serious breach of Meng's lawful rights, has shocked the international community. The arrest immediately spurred massive drops in the global stock market and has touched the nerve of people who are keeping a close eye on Sino-U.S. relations. Meng's release on Tuesday was instantly welcomed by big applause in the courtroom.
Vancouver's ruling is within expectation, said Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China. Canada has been caught in the middle between the U.S. and China for some time and is eager to find a way out. The illegal treatment of Huawei's CFO has aroused anger across the Chinese community, and Ottawa has been under heavy pressure from Beijing to release Meng. But in the meantime, Ottawa cannot afford to ruin ties with Washington, which requested the arrest.
Worse still, it has been nearly half a month since Meng was detained, but no official application for Meng's extradition has been launched from the U.S. side so far. In this context, releasing Meng on bail is the most convenient solution for the Canadian government to jump out of the current dilemma.
Apparently, Washington is still hesitant about Meng's treatment. U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters earlier that he could intervene in the Justice Department's case against Meng if it would serve national security interests.
"If I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made… what's good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary," Trump was quoted as saying.
The president's words are slapping America's judicial system in the face. Since its establishment, the United States has been crowing about its tripartite political system and judicial independence, but Trump's remarks suggest that the reality in the U.S. is the other way round.
Washington is considering using the arrest of Huawei's CFO as a bargaining chip for future negotiations with Beijing, and in the meantime to strike a heavy blow to China's high-tech industry, according to Jin. Days after Meng's detention, Japan decided to exclude Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from government purchase list. The arrest is, in essence, a political game.
As a superpower, the U.S. is supposed to shoulder its due responsibilities and set a role model for other countries, but the White House has once again astounded the world with its "nasty" calculations. The country's judicial system has descended into a strategic tool for it to seek unfair economic and diplomatic gains, and this time, Meng has been kidnapped.
It is still too early to predict Washington's final decision regarding Meng. It is hoped that the U.S. can stop the judicial abuse and play fair in the geopolitical game with other regional powers.
Jin Canrong is associate dean of the School of International Studies at Renmin University of China.