Huawei’s CFO has been languishing in Canada for two years, while going through a prolonged show trial that’s a mockery of international law, human rights, and common sense. Meng Wanzhou — the CFO and the daughter of Huawei’s founder — was taken as a hostage to intimidate the Chinese government and force China to accept America’s diktats in the trade “deal”. (The “deal” is similar to a guy pointing a gun at you and saying, “Let’s make a deal. You give me your wallet and I don’t shoot you”).
Every American should be against such tyrannical actions. Why? Because, even if Americans are not appalled by the injustice and immorality, they should realize that the end of American primacy is just around the corner (see my blog).
As they say, “Be Nice to People on Your Way Up. You’ll Meet Them On Your Way Down.”
Huawei’s legal team is focused on procedural intricacies, exposing the shenanigans of Canadian and American law enforcement. For example, the prosecutors hid certain exculpatory PowerPoint slides that M. Wanzhou used in her HSBC meeting in 2013; evidence that HSBC all along knew about the relations between Huawei and Skycom was also suppressed; M. Wanzhou was interviewed for hours without the presence of an attorney; her laptop and phones were searched without due process; and many more such malfeasance are being brought up in the court.
Big Picture of Lawlessness
However, rather than deliberating these legal minutiae, let’s focus on the bigger picture in this blog. Before going into intellectual discussions, just ask Americans if China has the right to arrest Elon Musk or Tim Cook. The response will be predictable.
The double standards of American hegemony (dictatorship) are just widely accepted without scrutiny.
- Can America bomb Syria? Of course. Can Syria bomb America? Of course not!
- Can America appoint the President of Venezuela? Of course! Can Venezuela or any other country interfere in U.S. politics? Of course, not!
- Can America spend millions of dollars funding Hong Kong rioters and Uyghur separatists? Mais oui! Can China fund Antifa or Black Lives Matter? Nope!
- Can America place sanctions on Iran, crush its economy, kill its general, literally commit piracy by stealing oil from Iranian tankers etc.? Yes, yes, yes, ad infinitum.
- Can USA bully other countries into not using Huawei for 5G? Yes, that’s the definition of “free trade.”
- Can America place military bases and missiles all around China and Russia? Duh! Can Russians and Chinese do the same in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia or any other country in Latin America? Hey, stupid, haven’t you heard of Monroe Doctrine?
US politicians, media, and think tanks sanctimoniously hyperventilate about “rules-based order,” but the sad fact is that the U.S. promotes the “law of the jungle.” And every authoritarian and dictatorial action by the USA is sold to the gullible and willfully ignorant public as justifiable or necessary.
Most people don’t understand the basics of the concept called jurisdiction.
Let me illustrate this with a simple example. Let’s say that I am speeding at 100 mph on a highway in California. Can New York or any other state fine me or arrest me? Nope. Even though speeding is also a crime in NY, they don’t have jurisdiction over me in this case. It’s none of their business!
Similarly, Canada and the U.S. don’t have any right to judge Meng Wanzhou’s actions in this case.
Meng Wanzhou is a Chinese citizen, the meeting where she allegedly lied about Huawei-Skycom relations happened in Hong Kong, and HSBC bank is neither Canadian nor American. So, legally, Canada and the USA have absolutely no jurisdiction in this case.
If HSBC bank lost any money due to incorrect statements made by Huawei, the bank can sue Huawei in Hong Kong courts, who are the only ones with proper jurisdiction.
U.S. “long-arm jurisdiction” is fictitious and illegal
There’s no such thing as “long-arm jurisdiction”. For example, China just imposed sanctions on Lockheed Martin, Boeing Defense, and Raytheon. However, China or its allies cannot simply arrest the executives of these companies for selling weapons to Taiwan.
America’s long-arm or extraterritorial jurisdiction is based on the notion of “might is right.” If every country can extend its laws beyond its borders, the entire world order would collapse. Imagine if Saudi Arabia demands that American women wear burqas!
International laws, U.N. Charter, and common sense dictate that every country’s laws stop at its borders.
Many other companies and countries have “violated” U.S. sanctions on Iran
Nobody wants to follow capricious US sanctions, but western companies go scot free after accepting a slap on the wrist.
- French bank BNP Paribas ignored U.S. sanctions on Iran and later got away with just paying fines (link).
- JP Morgan violated U.S. sanctions on Iran. Result? Just a few million dollars fine in 2018 (link). Going back, in 2011, the same bank again paid fines for violations of U.S. sanctions (link).
- A British bank – Standard Chartered Bank – conducted 9,500 transactions with Iran between 2007 and 2011! Of course, nobody was arrested and the bank paid $1 billion in fines (link).
- In 2018, six German banks were openly defying the U.S. and still doing business with Iran. Who’s the U.S. going to arrest? (link)
- The entire European Union has now set up a new financial channel called INSTEX to do business with Iran. Is the U.S. going to invade EU? (link)
Thus, the only one in the whole world to get arrested for violation of (illegal) U.S. sanctions on Iran is Meng Wanzhou.
Meng Wanzhou was not under oath during her HSBC meeting
Nobody gets arrested for lying during a business lunch! She was not under oath when she was talking to the HSBC official. Moreover, the meeting wasn’t recorded, so whatever the HSBC guy says is mere hearsay.
HSBC’s incentives for entrapment
In 2012, HSBC paid almost $2 billion in fines for laundering money for drug dealers. Knowing its history, one shouldn’t be surprised — HSBC was created by the British in the 19th century to launder money from trafficking opium into China. Thus, it’s obvious that HSBC made a plea bargain with the U.S. government to get some dirt on Huawei. Also, as Edward Snowden revealed, around 2012, the NSA broke into Huawei’s servers and stole lots of information and emails.
Corporate liability exempts executives from personal liability
Meng Wanzhou was representing Huawei. Basic western corporate law says the executives aren’t personally liable for their actions when they are representing the firm. This is why the CEO’s of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo etc. didn’t go to jail after the global financial crisis of 2008. This is also why Big Pharma executives don’t go to prisons even though millions of Americans get hurt or die from falsely advertised drugs. Thus, only Huawei as a corporation is responsible for whatever she said or did.
Important timeline of events
Two pivotal things happened in early 2018:
- Huawei announced world’s first 5G call in February 2018. China was poised to dominate a critical industry, which had huge implications for US’ ability to spy on everyone.
- After one year of negotiations, China refused to make “structural reforms” — i.e. dismantle its socialist economic system.
This was when the U.S. decided to impose tariffs and also arrest Meng Wanzhou. Since she travels all over the world, the U.S. reached out to many countries to help arrest and extradite her. Everyone turned down this insane idea … except Canada, the poodle. It’s almost a certainty that the Trump administration deliberately invited Meng Wanzhou to attend the G20 summit in Argentina, knowing that the best flights from China to Argentina go through Canada.
Unique and crazy things about US sanctions
The U.S. has had debilitating sanctions on Iran since 1979. Well, every country has the right to NOT do business with another country. However, what’s unique about the US is that it demands the entire world to stop doing business with any country or corporation that the American Empire hates.
America’s imperialist sanctions are brutal economic wars and are like sieges in the medieval times. In the 1990s, more than half a million Iraqi children died from U.S. sanctions.
The rules of sanctions also change frequently. What can you sell to Iran and for what purposes, what and how much can you buy from Iran … all depend on the whims and fantasies of U.S. politicians. Thus, foreign corporations and countries lose a lot of money when they invest in Iran and have to comply with volatile American fatwas. Picture this:
- In 2011, Obama tightened the sanctions on Iran.
- In 2015, Obama signed the Iran deal (JCPOA) and loosened the restrictions
- In 2018, Trump unilaterally quit the JCPOA and tightened the sanctions.
However, there are lots of loopholes for friends and families. In the 1980s, the U.S. government sold missiles to Iran — recall the infamous Iran-Contra Affair! In the 1990s, Israel bought tons of cheap oil from Iran!! And U.S. companies like G.E. and Halliburton did a lot of business with Iran in the 1990s and beyond.
Weaponization of US Dollar
So, why’s everyone putting up with America’s authoritarianism and self-appointed exceptionalism? Well, it’s all about the power of US dollar.
After WW2, the European Empires had collapsed, leaving America as the sole western power. Thus, the U.S. dollar was turned into the global reserve and trade currency. This was sold to the world as simply a more efficient way to conduct trade. However, this dollar monopoly has been consistently weaponized and abused by the US establishment in the last 75 years.
Another extraordinary privilege of USD hegemony is that the U.S. can simply print trillions of dollars, while developing nations must be extremely prudent and hardworking. When developing nations falter, they must go begging to the U.S., World Bank, and IMF, who will impose “reforms” — i.e. the poor countries must open up their markets for western goods, impose austerity on their own people, and sell their natural resources to western corporations for pennies on the dollar.
Anyone who dares to disobey Washington DC gets cut off from U.S. banks and U.S. dollar. If a country figures out a way to ditch the U.S. dollar — like when Saddam Hussein started selling oil in Euros or Libya’s Gaddafi tried to introduce gold-backed currency — the mighty U.S. military will start dropping bombs of “freedom and democracy.”
Nothing lasts forever. Ask the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, French and the British about the longevity of reserve currency status.
There’s a multipolar world coming. Global trade and finance will be democratized, and China’s digital Yuan (e-RMB or DCEP) will play a major role in this transformation.
Nobody can tell how it’s all going to end. However, all the political and corporate leaders around the world understand that the arrest of Meng Wanzhou is a travesty that sets a dangerous precedent.
Nobody in the world is free, if Meng Wanzhou cannot be free.
The U.S.A. can simply arrest any foreign corporate executive, diplomat or even a politician on trumped up and fake charges.
But here’s the reality: China is getting stronger every day, while Europe and the U.S. are declining. By the end of this year, China’s GDP will surpass the combined GDP of EU’s 27 nations. With economic power, comes political power.
There are clear signs that the U.S. establishment is backing off Trump’s crazed hybrid war on China. For example: 3000+ U.S. corporations are suing the U.S. government to get rid of the tariffs on Chinese goods; U.S. courts are repeatedly striking down the attempted bans on TikTok and WeChat; and tech companies in US, Japan and South Korea are now being “allowed” to sell components to Huawei.
My guess is that Biden will win the election and Huawei’s CFO will be quietly set free.