On Wednesday, Lu Shaye, China’s ambassador to Canada wrote an op-ed in The Hill Times criticizing the arrest of Meng Wanzhou and calling it an instance of “white supremacy.”
In this article, the Chinese ambassador seems to have fully lost grasp of reality.
The op-ed is a combination of provable falsehoods and a doubling down of self-righteousness with regards to the detainment of Canadian citizens in China. Instead of accepting responsibility for its hysterical reaction to the arrest of Wanzhou, the ambassador represents a China that is unwilling to be reasonable.
For example, Lu states, “Some Canadians and some in the Canadian news media, in disregard of China’s judicial sovereignty, accused China of arbitrary detention and demanded their immediate release.”
To that Julian Ku, a professor at Hofstra University School of Law who studies China’s legal system, responded:
‘The Kovrig-Spavor detentions are pretty much the textbook definition of arbitrary. It is still not clear what they are being charged with. There is no specific evidence or description of any evidence of whatever they allegedly did,’
‘Those of us observing from the outside should not give the Chinese government’s statements on this issue any credibility whatsoever; indeed, doing so would undermine our own notions of how fairness and rule of law should work.’
Ambassador Lu’s awkward and haphazard comments do not stop there, as he continues to write on Canada’s reaction: “They insisted that Canada’s detention of a Chinese citizen who was transferring planes at the airport was ‘acting in accordance with law,’ though Meng has not been charged with any violation of Canadian law.”
What Lu seems to overlook is that Canada and the United States have an extradition treaty. Individuals who are wanted for breaking the law in the United States can be extradited from Canada.
According to Reuters, U.S. authorities allege Meng Wanzhou deceived international banks into clearing transactions with Iran and working in Syria, through companies Skycom Tech Co Ltd and Canicula Holdings Ltd., both of which Huawei was extensively involved in.
If the United States has followed the proper channels and applications in their request to extradite Wanzhou then Canada is obliged to follow with due process.
But then again, when reading the following statement I wondered to myself, if perhaps it was the very idea of due process which may be truly confusing the Chinese ambassador: “It’s understandable that these Canadians are concerned about their own citizens. But have they shown any concern or sympathy for Meng after she was illegally detained and deprived of freedom?”
The ambassador begins his foray into complete lunacy here, as he pleads for sympathy on behalf of the “detained and deprived” Meng, in contrast to I suppose the … well respected and well taken care of Canadians?
It becomes fundamentally impossible to take the ambassador seriously when Ms. Meng has received access to the best lawyers in our country, and now has received bail while being on house arrest awaiting for the continuation of her trial.
In comparison, Canadian detainee Michael Kovrig has had his lights on 24/7 (a form of torture), has only had access to a consular visit once a month, and to this day remains without access to a lawyer.
Lu says, “It seems that, to some people, only Canadian citizens shall be treated in a humanitarian manner and their freedom deemed valuable, while Chinese people do not deserve that.”
It is almost horrifying and preposterous to see the ambassador of China state that some Canadians believe that only Canadian citizens should be treated in a humane manner. Canadians have historically been a leading voice on human rights issues and continue to enact leadership in that domain.
Does the ambassador expect us to take his words seriously when the Chinese government detains their own people such as the million Uighurs who are kept in “re-education camps” in a manner that is obviously below any standard of humanitarian
Canadians are not demanding that Ms. Wang be treated poorly, they are demanding that our citizens be given the same care that theirs are afforded.
“It seems that, to those people, the laws of Canada or other Western countries are laws and must be observed, while China’s laws are not and shouldn’t be respected,” says the ambassador.
It’s clear for the world to see that the arrest of Canadians came only in retaliation to the arrest of Wanzhou. China continues to be vague on the charges laid on them and has done nothing to give Canadians the confidence that they will be tried fairly.
Also the very fact that China chose to arrest Canadians instead of Americans is proof to the country’s duplicity. China is simply counting on Canada as being a pawn in the game between the two powers and hopes that bullying what it sees as the weaker party in this dispute will automatically solve their problems.
Some people in Canada, without any evidence, have been hyping the idea that Huawei is controlled by the Chinese government and poses security threats to Canada and other Western countries, and that Chinese law requires China’s enterprises to collaborate with the government in espionage activities. However, these same people have conveniently ignored the PRISM Program, Equation Group, and Echelon—global spying networks operated by some countries that have been engaging in large-scale and organized cyber stealing, and spying and surveillance activities on foreign governments, enterprises, and individuals.
While the programs mentioned by the ambassador do exist, this is a false equivalence when it comes to Huawei. Huawei is an internationally traded corporation, while those programs are run and operated by national intelligence and security agencies. While there are questions when it comes to the ethics of mass surveillance, intelligence agencies have national security in mind.
When it comes to intelligence agencies, it is assumed a priori that they are conducting espionage. However, Huawei, which is understood to be a private organization would have no business in conducting espionage on the behalf of a foreign power.
Even if the evidence pointing to Huawei as being a front for Chinese intelligence is murky or non-existent as the ambassador suggests, the suspicion is a valid one. Western powers have every right to suspect a foreign telecommunications agency and to prohibit its operations until further investigated.
As explained in the Globe and Mail, 5G networks are vastly different than previous generations, according to New Zealand Intelligence Services Minister Andrew Little:
The principal difference between 5G technology and the conventional 4G and 3G technology is that the conventional technology has an infrastructure core and then peripheral technology such as cellphone towers and the like, and they can in effect be kept separate, but you cannot do that with 5G technology,” he said. “Every component of 5G technology, every component of the network is integrated and, therefore, access to one component can lead to access to the entire network.
Now this would not be worrying in of itself, but here is the catch, Chinese law clearly states that all companies must aid the government in areas of national security, and Huawei devices have been shown to have backdoors already installed in them.
Last July, the British government revealed it had found technical and supply-chain issues with equipment made by Huawei that exposed Britain’s telecom networks to new security risks.
Canada, pulling a few individual countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. on its side, pressed China in the name of “the international community” to release its citizens. Do a handful of Western countries really represent the whole international community? To those would-be representatives of the international community, non-Western countries are not members of the international community and only their countries can call the shots on international affairs.
While these nations do not constitute the international community, they do represent a notable portion of the nations which maintain real democracies and have for the most part a nation with thriving civil rights.
Most importantly, though they represent our allies. Their action re-affirms their commitment to those same civil rights which they in turn support in their respective
This moment action of clear power-politics, is perhaps what forced the Ambassador to actually write one very interesting note:
I have recently heard a word repeatedly pronounced by some Canadians: bullying. They said that by arresting two Canadian citizens as retaliation for Canada’s detention of Meng, China was bullying Canada. To those people, China’s self-defence is an offence to Canada. If someone slaps you on your left cheek, give him your right cheek, they told us. But I have never seen them doing as they said.
Here it seems the facade of alternative facts vanishes, as the ambassador seemingly admits that the actions taken by the Chinese government, were in reaction or “self-defense” clearly showing that the imprisonment of the detainees was likely in response to the imprisonment of Wanzhou.
The reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy. In such a context, the rule of law is nothing but a tool for their political ends and a fig leaf for their practicing hegemony in the international arena. What they have been doing is not showing respect for the rule of law, but mocking and trampling the rule of law.
The moment of lucidity is quickly shattered by the ambassador’s sudden declaration that the nation which actually provided more rights to a Chinese citizen, than that available in China, were in fact white supremacists.
The ambassador seems ignorant of the fact that this is a national security issue and has nothing to do with culture or ethnicity. Meng Wanzhou was not targeted because of being Chinese, but because she was involved in a web that implicated her as the main operator in dealing with telecommunication equipment to Iran and Syria.
Lu also conveniently leaves out the fact that Canada readily accepts Chinese nationals into the country to study, work and live here. Huawei is simply one of many Chinese-owned companies that operate in Canada.
Are Canadian authorities arresting senior officials of Lenovo or Addax Petroleum?
No, this is simply not the case.
The ambassador seems to think that Canadian media will simply acquiesce to his alternative facts, much like the controlled media he is accustomed to at home.
Thanks to the freedoms we still enjoy in this country, I am able to say that the ambassador has assumed wrongly.