Huawei CFO says she’s endured ‘fear and pain’ during house arrest in B.C.
Huawei CFO and Chinese tech royalty Meng Wanzhou says the last year of conviction has been a year of “fear and pain.” as she remains cooped up in her Vancouver-area home under house arrest.
Meng was arrested in December of 2018 on an extradition request from the United States regarding the breaking of sanctions with Iran.“The past year has witnessed moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment, and struggle,” said a letter by Meng, posted on the Huawei website titled “Your warmth is a beacon that lights my way forward.”
Reports that someone may have been paying actors to protest outside of B.C. Law Courts may actually hold some water after revelations emerged from multiple sources Monday.
According to Breaker, a man claims to have been paid $100 to stand outside the building with a sign. The man refused to give his name or appear on camera, and claimed that he was told he’d be appearing in a music video.
Instead of a music video, the man was brought to the outside of the BC Court House as Meng Wanzou, the Chinese tech royalty who was arrested in December of 2018 in Vancouver, was being escorted indoors.
The man was seen holding a letter-size paper sign which had the words “FREE MS MENG, EQUAL JUSTICE!” on it.
Other protestors had signs which were of the same paper stock, written in similar handwriting, and with black marker, according to photos.
“That was the promise [$100 to be in a music video], and then it was like, when there was all these cameras, for a long time I believed it was filming a scene where someone was coming out of a car,” he said. “So I was genuinely like, OK, fine to do this. Then reporters start showing up and, I don’t feel great about this anymore. I haven’t done anything wrong.”
The man says he asked questions about what his purpose was at the event, but he was given a “merry-go-round of non-answers.”
Another report of a paid actor came from Rebel Media commentator Keean Bexte, who reported that professional actress Julia Hackstaff was at the event holding a sign. Hackstaff has no prior history of social activism, and no prior support of China or their regime, according to Bexte.
CBC journalist Georgina Smyth also said sources were telling her people were being paid as much as $150 to show support for Ms. Meng at her extradition hearing.
Bell Canada’s new boss says Huawei 5G is “top notch” and would employ the hardware on BCE Inc.’s telecom infrastructure–the same hardware security experts warn could be used to spy on Canadians and that United States outright-banned from its domestic network.
“Huawei has been one of our suppliers for our 4G LTE network and they’ve been a great partner, their equipment is top notch,” Mirko Bibic told Bloomberg in an television interview yesterday.
Bibic assumed CEO responsibilities for Canada’s second-largest telecom provider on Monday, Jan. 6 following predecessor George Cope’s retirement.
“Ultimately, what we’d like is some clarity. Clarity is always good when you’re making these kinds of investments. Regardless of the outcome, we’d still adjust.”
Bibic’s comments come as the federal government remains in deliberations on whether to allow the Chinese firm’s 5G technology on Canada’s domestic telecommunications infrastructure.
Scott Bardsley, spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, told The Post Millennial in an email that Ottawa would “ensure that our networks are kept secure and will take appropriate decisions in due course.”
“While we cannot comment on specific companies, an examination of emerging 5G technology and the associated security and economic considerations is underway,” said Bardsley.
“This review includes the careful consideration of our allies’ advice.”
In addition to Blair’s department, the Communications Security Establishment, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development are all in on the decision, Bardsley noted.
Adding complexity to the decision are relations between Canada and China, which have reached a nadir over the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in December 2018, as she transited through Vancouver International Airport.
Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud and conspiracy charges for her role in alleged violations of American sanctions against Iran that Huawei allegedly violated.
The Huawei executive, currently under house arrest in Vancouver, will appear in court on January 20 for formal extradition hearings. Meanwhile, two Canadians–Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig–remain in Chinese custody going on 393 days for espionage charges; apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest.
In Nov. of 2018, United States asked allies to ban Huawei’s 5G hardware from their telecom networks.
Austrailia and New Zealand have since agreed–both are part of the Five Eyes surveillance network that includes the U.S., UK and Canada.
Britain may also abandon its 5G telecom deal with the Chinese company but like Canada, no decision has been made as it studies the matter.
Almost a year ago, former Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency officials told Ottawa lawmakers that Huawei 5G presented national security risks.
More recently Susan Rice, former U.S. national security advisor to President Barack Obama echoed these concerns in a November 2019 interview with CBC.
“It gives the China the ability, if they choose to use it, to access all kinds of information, civilian intelligence, military, that could be very, very compromising,” she told the public broadcaster.
Rice went on to say that if Canada were to allow the technology on its telecom infrastructure that would forever change the security relationship between our countries.
“That would put the security collaboration which serves the security interests of every Canadian and every American, into jeopardy,” said Rice.
“It can’t be done. I don’t see how we can share (intelligence) in the way we have. It’s not a joke. It’s truly serious.”
In addition Canadian telecom giant BCE, northern communications upstart Ice Wireless told TPM in December of last year that the company was ready to deploy Huawei 5G across the far north and was waiting for a decision from Ottawa.
Canada is facing what is increasingly becoming a binary choice:
Maintain our relationship with the United States and our Five Eyes Allies, or choose to do the bidding of communist China-controlled Huawei.
Our Five Eyes Allies in the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand have made clear that if we don’t block Huawei from our 5G networks, our intelligence sharing with them will be put at risk.
Think about that for a moment.
It’s no coincidence that the Five Eyes are made up of countries from the Anglosphere. They are our civilizational allies, and we have a shared history of standing for the same values and fighting on the same side in wars.
And for years, regardless of which political factions were in power in those countries, we have co-operated on matters of security and fighting terrorism.
In some cases, Canada has been warned of possible terror attacks on our own soil because of co-operation with our Five Eyes allies. Lives have been saved, and terrorists have been brought to justice because of the Five Eyes Alliance.
Of course, that Alliance only works if our nations trust each other, and trust our information security.
And that’s where Huawei comes in.
Consider this from NPR, on Angela Merkel’s party fighting back against her pro-Huawei stance:
“Well, opponents in her own party say the threat of retribution is a price that’s worth paying because it’s clear to them that under Chinese law, Huawei would have to take orders from China’s government if China’s government wanted to compromise Germany’s telecommunications network.”
So, it’s clear to everyone that letting Huawei dominate 5G networks effectively puts Communist China in control of those networks.
That is clearly an unacceptable breach of security.
Understandably, the US and the Five Eyes can’t accept that level of danger when it comes to sharing information with alliance members. It would in effect allow China to corrupt the alliance, and infiltrate the most sensitive national security information we can imagine. Canada would become a weak point, and focus of unacceptable risk.
The US has made explicitly clear that information sharing between the US and Canada would be weakened or even ended if we don’t ban Huawei.
That would endanger our alliance with the US and the Five Eyes, and put the Canadian People at increased risk of being killed by terrorists, since we may not have the warnings that have saved lives in the past.
That means the refusal to ban Huawei would not only be foolish but would be disloyal and harmful to Canadians.
At this point, there is only one legitimate choice: Huawei must be banned from our 5G networks, and we must stand with our allies.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Trudeau asked if the United States would wait for China to release the two detained Canadians before finalizing a trade agreement with the communist nation.
Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in Beijing last December shortly after the top executive at Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, was detained in Canada. Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and was detained on fraud charges after a request from U.S. authorities.
According to the Washington Post, Trudeau mentioned that he asked the states to use the trade deal as leverage in a French-language interview with TVA on Thursday.
In a translated version of the interview, Trudeau said, “We’ve said that the United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians.”
Kovrig and Spavor have not had access to lawyers or even family members since being in Chinese custody.
Recently, Trudeau and Trump have not been on great terms after footage surfaced of Trudeau and other world leaders talking about Trump in a childish manner.
Trudeau has since addressed the incident during a press conference saying, “Last night I made reference to the fact that there was an unscheduled press conference before my meeting with President Trump. I was happy to be part of it but it was certainly notable.”
Trump responded to the video by calling Trudeau “two-faced” but went on to add that he finds him to be a nice guy.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo has noted that Meng will not be used for bargaining in the trade deal conversations with the U.S. and China.
Meng is out on bail and has been living in Vancouver in a mansion. She was accused of giving banks false information about violating U.S. trade sanctions involving Huawei’s dealings with Iran. Meng is now awaiting proceedings.
After Meng’s detention, Beijing and Ottawa relations have not been the same. China has put a halt on importing some Canadian products. They have even gone as far as to sentence a Canadian to death following Meng’s arrest.
This is not the first time China has retaliated in this way against foreign governments after becoming involved in diplomatic disputes.