International Forecaster Weekly

Meng Wanzhou’s Politicized Extradition Hearing

If Meng is extradited to the US, she’ll face a 13-count indictment, charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, and related charges.

Stephen Lendman | January 22, 2020

On December 1, 2018, bowing to Trump regime pressure, Canadian authorities unlawfully arrested and detained Chinese telecom giant Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver on trumped up charges.

Charges against her are politically and economically motivated. Canada operates as a virtual US colony, allying with Washington’s hostile agenda, time and again breaching international laws, norms and standards.

Washington’s anti-China strategy includes targeting its dominant companies, ones able to match or outdo America’s best for preeminence in key fields, notably high-tech ones.

That’s why Meng was targeted, part of US strategy to undermine Huawei’s leadership in the race to roll out cellular mobile communications 5G technology, trillions of dollars of economic value at stake.

Despite the hazards to human health from radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (transmitted by radio waves) and privacy issues, 5G wireless technology is touted as able to support the next generation of Internet-connected devices infrastructure to smart cities and driverless cars.

On Monday in Vancouver, Meng’s extradition trial began. She’s been unjustly treated like a common criminal for over a year by Canadian authorities, serving US interests.

According to China’s Xinhua news agency, proceedings began Monday in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Canada, adding:

“Both Meng and Huawei have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.”

“Half an hour before the start of the hearing, Huawei” issued the following statement:

“We trust in Canada’s judicial system, which will prove Ms. Meng’s innocence,” adding: 

“Huawei stands with Ms. Meng in her pursuit for justice and freedom.” 

“We hope Ms. Meng will be able to be together with her family, colleagues and friends as soon as possible.” 

Xinhua stressed “that what Canada and the United States did in Meng’s case counts as arbitrary detention and a serious violation of the legitimate rights and interests of a Chinese citizen.”

According to China’s Global Times (GT), “(m)ore evidence has emerged that the case against (Meng) is based on groundless allegations,” adding:

“The case was political oppression and needs to be solved through political solutions, Chinese analysts” explained.

Evidence GT claims to have shows “detailed alleged abuse of law enforcement procedures and violations of law for political purposes by Canadian authorities.”

“Canadian Border Services…and Royal Canadian Mounted Police abused its inspection powers to conduct an illegal, covert criminal investigation.”

“(D)ocuments (show) Meng did not deceive HSBC. (She’s) accused of making a fraudulent presentation to the bank about the company’s business dealing in Iran.”

A statement by HSBC says it’s “not a party to this case, so it would be inappropriate…to comment on any particular evidence.”

According to attorney Yue Dongxiao who’s following the case, “(a) condition for fraud is the other party involved is not aware of the situation, but if HSBC was already aware of it, that won’t be a fraud case that violates Canadian law.”

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shaung said Meng’s “case is a severe political plot.”

According to Beijing-based technology think tank ChinaLabs founder Fang Xingdong, “(a) political issue needs to be solved through political (not judicial) measures.”

If justice is denied, China’s relations with Canada will have negative consequences, he added. They’ve already been negatively impacted since Meng’s unlawful arrest and detention, followed by house arrest.

Sino/US relations will be jeopardized if Chinese business officials, especially high-tech ones, feel unsafe traveling to the West.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported that Meng appeared “behind layers of bulletproof glass in the high-capacity, high-security courtroom…”

Her case “infuriated Beijing. (It) symbolizes challenges” China faces geopolitically — the US wanting its rise on the world stage undermined.

Attorney Richard Peck representing Meng said proceedings will likely continue for months, adding:

“Would we be here in the absence of (unlawful) US sanctions (on Iran)? The answer is no.”

False charges against Meng are based on allegations of breaching US sanctions, ones “Canada has repudiated.”

“It is a fiction (that the Trump regime is policing dealings) “between a private bank and a private citizen halfway around the world.”

Peck referred to a 2013 meeting between Meng and HSBC officials on Huawei’s legitimate dealings with Iran.

Canadian lawyers representing the Trump regime unjustifiably claim the case against Meng is bank fraud.

Proceedings are to decide whether she’ll be extradited to the US for trial. Much rides on its outcome.

Following a momentary thaw in Sino/US relations because of a so-called phase one trade deal, major issues still unresolved, will Trump consider calling off extradition of Meng to the US as a good will gesture to China, hoping for concessions in follow-up talks?

While anything is possible, it’s highly unlikely, especially in an election year when softening his get tough on China policy could be used by Dems against him.

A Final Comment

If Meng is extradited to the US, she’ll face a 13-count indictment, charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, and related charges.

Huawei is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, intellectual property theft, and obstruction of justice.

A second 10-count US indictment charges Huawei and its US affiliate with theft of trade secrets from T-Mobile USA, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice – also alleging Huawei “offer(ed) bonuses to employees who succeeded in stealing confidential information from other companies.”

China, Huawei and Meng deny all US charges. Attorneys for Meng argue that extraditing her would violate Ottawa’s extradition agreement with the US.

The ongoing legal battle for justice has miles to go before resolution, the outcome very much uncertain at this time.