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I was invited to attend a pro-China media event titled “The Arrest of Meng Wanzhou & the New Cold War on China.” My goal in attending the event was to provide a neutral tone discussing the China/Canada issues. The comments below are mostly taken from the points of the speakers of the event. They are not my own thoughts.
We post about Canada/China relations because our company provides lawyers in China. We need to stay up to date on the issues.
This event was organized by the Cross-Canada Campaign to FREE MENG WANZHOU. The Canada Files was the media sponsor.
Hearings in the extradition trial of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei, resumed on March 1, 2021. According to the event host, the arrest was a mistake by the Canadian government. The arrest was motivated by the United States’ goal to create a new cold war with China.
Sinophobia and anti-Chinese rhetoric in Canada
The event speakers discussed the rise of Sinophobia and anti-Chinese rhetoric in Canada and the likelihood that Huawei will be illegally banned from participation in Canada’s 5G network. The speakers also discussed possible changes in China relations under President Biden.
Radhika Desai, the Professor at the Department of Political Studies, and Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba spoke at the event. She said that there has been a rise in discussions around the rise of China, spying, and industrial espionage.
Under President Biden, the United States has sought to mobilize its allies. These include NATO, Canada, Mexico, India, and Japan.
The arrest of Meng Wangzhou happened in December 2018, where she was charged with fraud. Radhika Desai asked why was it Canada that arrested Wangzhou, even though between the time when the arrest warrant was issued, Wangzhou had travelled to around ten other countries?
Radhika Desai said that this is about a dispute between the United States and Huawei’s increasing technology abilities. The United States wants to put China down.
Canada is not a party to the United States sanctions against Iran. Canadian laws prohibit the use of extradition for political purposes.
John Ross was also a speaker at the event. He is a Senior Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University, Beijing. He was also an economic advisor to former Mayor Ken Livingstone of London before he moved to China.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou
Mr. Ross said the reason for the attack on Wangzhou is that Huawei is becoming the best technology company in the world.
Mr. Ross said that since the 2008 financial crisis, tens of millions of dollars have been paid by banks for violations. Not a single CEO or CFO has been individually charged, unlike Ms. Wangzhou. This sort of individual attack doesn’t happen to western CFO’s.
John Ross said he has been teaching on Huawei in China for a decade. Every product that Huawei brings to the west is tested by intelligence services.
All that would be needed would be to find a single security violation to destroy Huawei’s reputation. Some of the top intelligence agencies like the NSA have tested it in great detail. They obviously couldn’t find a single piece of evidence.
The United States has also suggested that Huawei stole technology. Huawei produces products that the United States doesn’t have, like 5G technology. The United States is the one that is incentivized to steal technology from Huawei.
Huawei’s Success Over the Years
Mr. Ross provided some background on Huawei’s success. Why was Huawei so successful? In the 1990s, China was a low-income country. The western telecommunication companies came to China, but only wanted to expand into Beijing and Shanghai. They thought China was too poor to go into the tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Huawei was willing to go into the smaller and poorer cities.
Huawei wired up the whole of China and planned for the long term. The company has always used 10% of its revenue for research and development. It always pays out large bonuses and takes care of its employees.
Huawei said that the countryside surrounds the cities. This is the strategy that Huawei has used for the past thirty years. There was also a goal for globalization. The first countries Huawei expanded into was Laos and Yemen. It didn’t get its first contract in an advanced country until 2001 when it expanded into Germany.
By 2005, Huawei had more orders outside China than within the country. By 2012, 75% of revenue came from abroad. Now it’s one of the world’s largest communications companies.
According to Mr. Ross, the real accusation against Huawei is because it’s too big. The arrest of Wangzhou forces people in the west to pay more for our telecommunications.
Extra Costs For Taxpayers
Mr. Ross said that in England, the British government originally wanted Huawei to build its 5G network. It was said that Huawei would save around $5 billion and could deliver it for years earlier. Now the British people are going to get it later and pay a lot more in taxes. This is a similar situation for Canada and Australia, countries that are also against Huawei.
The United States succeeded with Australia and England to keep Huawei out of the country. Poorer countries can’t afford to spend billions more. The Middle East, Russia, Africa, and South Asia are not going to pay extra to please the United States. The arrest of Meng Wangzhou is just a speed bump in Huawei’s global domination.
According to Mr. Ross, Huawei is being attacked because it has beaten western companies. My company just expanded into China, and I write these articles to provide the public with diversified viewpoints.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou
William Ging Wee Dere was a speaker at the event. He is a documentary filmmaker and author of “Being Chinese in Canada, The Struggle for Identity, Redress and Belonging” winner of the 2020 Blue Metropolis/Conseil des arts de Montréal Diversity Prize.
He is also an anti-imperialist organizer and a leading activist in the movement for redress of the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. Williams’s father paid the Chinese Head Tax when he came to Canada.
It was clear that William Ging Wee Dere was reading exclusively from pre-written notes. It’s unclear who wrote the notes.
According to William, 60% of the US navy fleet is now in the Pacific. It has maintained its bases in Japan and South Korea. The Canadian fleets have also sailed through the Taiwan Strait. William found this to be upsetting and said it violated China’s rights.
He went on to say that China’s response to the west’s military aggression has been to develop its technology. President Xi has focused on China’s economic development, like the new silk road. Over a hundred countries have signed on for China’s global development plans.
William said that what happened to Wangzhou is like what is happening to Asians in Canada right now. There have been 600 cases of anti-Asian attacks in Canada. In Montreal, people have been told to go back to China.
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou Hearing
Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) was a participant in the five-eyes meeting to target Huawei. But according to William, one of the goals of the Five-Eyes are to also make people suspicious of Asians as being possible agents of China.
2020 was a big year for anti-China information. What the Canadian media says has become the narrative for China. There have been talks about banning the Olympics in Beijing. The demonization of China could lead to more Asian attacks.
According to William, things could move from cold war to a hot war if the mainstream media doesn’t stop attacking China.
While I found much of what William Ging Wee Dere to be scandalous, my company just expanded to China, and I always want to hear both sides of things. I appreciate him speaking and I hope his notes were not provided to him.
Justin Podur was also a speaker at the event. He is the author of several books including America’s Wars on Democracy in Rwanda and DR Congo, Siegebreakers, and Haiti’s New Dictatorship.
Independent Media Institute’s Globetrotter project
He writes for the Independent Media Institute’s Globetrotter project and runs a podcast called the Anti-Empire Project. He is an Associate Professor at York University‘s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change.
Justin Podur has said that the Canadian extradition system is completely broken. Canada feels the need to give France and the United States whoever they want to be extradited.
Podur said that we are unable to learn from China. China got rid of COVID-19 within months. So, why won’t we listen to their advice? He said that the eldercare system is for profit in Canada, which is why so many old people died in Canada during the Coronavirus.
Eldercare System Human Rights Violations
China has gotten rid of poverty which is one of the greatest achievements of all time. The weird thing is that Canada relies on the Chinese economy for a lot of things. According to Podur, for these reasons, we should be open to learning from China.
Canadian universities want to recruit foreign students because they pay a lot more than locals. Instead of taxpayers paying for universities, foreign students pay. When we say that China has taken part in the genocide, what kind of message does that send to Chinese students? We want their money, but we don’t want their culture.
Justin Podur said that Muslim people in western China must eat pork and that this is not a human violation. Instead, what happened in Canada with the indigenous people was much worse. Podur said that Canada should not blame others regarding human rights issues.
We hope you enjoyed this article on the hearing of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. Neither the author nor our company takes any position on the matters.
Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law, a website that connects people with lawyers. The points from this article are Mr. Vigier’s notes as the speaker talked.