by Christopher Black, from New Eastern Outlook, December 8, 2018
“It is clear the US is pushing the battle line to our door … We can completely regard the US arrest of Meng Wanzhou as a declaration of war against China.”
So read an editorial in the Global Times of China on December 6, the day after Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of the Chinese company Huawei was taken hostage by the Canadian and American governments on December 1. The daughter of the founder of China’s largest telecommunications company was arbitrarily arrested and detained by Canadian police in Vancouver in transit between planes on December 1on the pretext of a US extradition request.
The arrest has shocked and angered China while in Canada the large Chinese population must wonder how safe they are. The background to the arrest is fairly simple. Huawei has become a global competitor in the global phone market and their 5G phones are cutting edge technology and so not welcomed by competing phone companies in, US, Japan, south Korea, France, and Sweden, who are so afraid of the competition that they and their governments have spread stories that the phones are loaded with spyware and are “a danger to national security.” The company has even been threatened by the US and allied governments with criminal charges in America’s increasingly hostile economic war against China alongside its increasing military pressure, provocations and insults. It’s one way to control the market. But now, acting as a mafia they have kidnapped, detained, and hold hostage a Chinese woman whose simple crime is going to work every day. The lack of outcry from women’s rights groups in the west is not surprisingly, deafening.
The pretext for her arrest is that Huawei has violated US sanctions against Iran. But the “sanctions” imposed on Iran by the US recently are illegal under international law, that is under the UN Charter that stipulates that only the Security Council can impose economic sanctions on a nation. The latest American sanctions are not approved by the Security Council. Sanctions imposed unilaterally by one nation against another are not legal and are violation of international law. There is, therefore, no law that she or Huawei is violating. There is no legal justification for her arrest by the Canadians who detaining her without legal justification.
The Canadian prime minister claims he had no hand in this arrest, yet admits he knew about it days before hand. But he cannot claim that since the police that arrested her and the prosecutors handling the file are federal officials and so he must have been involved. John Bolton in the US also admitted that he knew that this was going to happen several days in advance so there must have been communication between he Canadian authorities and the American authorities at a high level to set this up. In fact to add insult to injury the arrest took place as President Trump was sitting with President Xi who was trying to seek an accommodation with the Americans to ease the economic war being waged against China by the Americans. So as Trump sat with Xi, smiling like a lizard in the sun, he knew that Meng Wanzhou was being arrested, and continued to act like the lizard he is, while Xi acted in good faith unaware of what was happening further north in Canada.
Trudeau’s statement that this arbitrary arrest was not politically motivated and that he was not involved in giving orders for Canadian police to detain her once she landed in Vancouver is preposterous since the Extradition Treaty between Canada and the United States requires that the United States inform the Canadian foreign ministry of its request and send them the documents supporting the request.
Further Article 2 of the Treaty requires that Canada can only act on such a request if, and only if, the offence alleged is also an offence by the laws of both contracting parties. But the unilaterally imposed and illegal sanctions placed against Iran by the USA, are not punishable acts in Canada and even in the USA the “sanctions” are illegal as the are in violation of the UN Charter.
Article 4 (1) of the Treaty states:
“Extradition shall not be granted in any of the following circumstances:
(iii) When the offense in respect of which extradition is requested is of a political character, or the person whose extradition is requested proves that the extradition request has been made for the purpose of trying to punish him (or her) for an offense of the above-mentioned character. If any question arises as to whether a case comes within the provisions of this subparagraph, the authorities of the Government on which the requisition is made shall decide.”
So, Prime Minister Trudeau cannot evade responsibility for this hostage taking, this arbitrary arrest and detention since his government had to consider the US request and consider whether it was politically motivated. Therefore the matter had to be considered at the highest level, by him. Since he has clearly ignored all the circumstances including the fact, firstly that the offence alleged is not an offence in Canada, and cannot exist under international law and secondly, that the US request is clearly politically motivated and has the objective of damaging both Iran and China, he made a political decision to order his security forces to arrest and detain her. It was a political arrest. The rule of law in Canada has been suspended, at least in her case, and so can be in any case.
But can we be surprised that the rule of law has ceased to exist in Canada when we remember that in 1999 Canada took part in the aggression against Yugoslavia, when it took part in the aggression against Iraq, when in 2004 its special forces assisted US marines to put a gun to the head of President Aristide of Haiti, kidnap him and exile him to Africa, when it took part in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, of Libya, of Syria, when this year it took in white helmet elements of the terrorist proxy forces attacking Syria, when it has been involved in plots to overthrow the Venezuelan government, and the Ukrainian government where it supports the fascists who have taken power in Kiev and when it supports the illegal “sanctions” that is, economic warfare against Russia?
Canadians should be angry about their nation being led by people whose loyalty is to Washington instead of the Canadian people, whose interest they could care nothing about. They should be angry about slapping the face of the great Chinese people for whom Dr. Norman Bethune, the great Canadian communist, died helping the Peoples Liberation Army during the Long March and resistance to the Japanese in the 1930’s.
They should be angry about these traitors isolating Canada from China, from Russia, from Iran and their great cultures, and condemning Canada to be nothing more than an outpost of the American empire. For traitors they are as they betray the Canadian people by serving he interests of the Americans and their war machine. Free Meng Wanzhou, for so long as she is held hostage, so are we all.
Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine“New Eastern Outlook.”