In a previous article, I urged Vladimir Putin to match Washington’s toughness on Russia with tough action of his own – showing strength, not weakness like he usually reacts to unacceptable US hostility.
My suggestions included arresting long ago identified US spies in Russia, imprisoning them until all Russian political prisoners in America are released.
Perhaps in response to the arrest Huawei Technologies’ chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities on December 1 at the behest of Washington, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig was detained in China with no explanation as to why so far.
Beijing’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng warned of “grave consequences” if Meng isn’t promptly released, perhaps what’s behind Kovrig’s detention, a shot across Ottawa’s bow, maybe a similar action to be taken against a current or former US official in China if things aren’t resolved fairly.
Kovrig is senior adviser for northeast Asia at the right-wing/pro-Western/pro-war International Crisis Group – focusing on China, Japan and the Korean peninsula.
According to what the South China Post called a “well-placed source,” Beijing is retaliating against Meng’s unfair treatment.
Signing of a “major” Sino/Canadian deal was postponed, the source adding that “(t)he consequences (of her unacceptable arrest and detention) have already begun.”
Former Canadian envoy to China David Mulroney believes Kovrig’s detention is reprisal for what happened to Meng, the most likely explanation.
China’s Global Times (GT) said “(i)nternational business disputes are usually handled in a different way,” the ambushing arrest and detention of Meng an unacceptable action.
Neither Beijing or Huawei was warned about Meng’s possible arrest and detention. Bloomberg called the incident a “kidnapping.”
GT said if she’s extradited to America, “it will become an epoch-making evil in international business, tantamount to opening Pandora’s box…The arrest is definitely a milestone in the rising personal risk of being a corporate executive” in dealings with the US and its partners.
Separately, the Trump regime accused Beijing of espionage, alleging hackers working for China’s intelligence service targeted government and corporate data.
Indictments of targeted individuals are expected to follow, along with other actions. For years, the US accused China of waging cyberwar, intellectual property theft, and a whole lot more – ignoring its own reprehensible actions, far exceeding the worst of other countries, notably its endless wars of aggression.
China is a major US economic, political and military rival. Washington wants it marginalized, weakened and isolated, its sovereign independence eliminated, pro-Western puppet rule replacing it, risking direct confrontation, including over repeated US South China Sea provocations.
Last March, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer accused China of US Trade Act of 1974 violations, stating:
“1. China uses foreign ownership restrictions, such as joint venture requirements and foreign equity limitations, and various administrative review and licensing processes, to require or pressure technology transfer from US companies.”
“2. China’s regime of technology regulations forces US companies seeking to license technologies to Chinese entities to do so on non-market-based terms that favor
“3. China directs and unfairly facilitates the systematic investment in, and acquisition of,
US companies and assets by Chinese companies to obtain cutting-edge technologies and intellectual property and generate the transfer of technology to Chinese companies.”
“4. China conducts and supports unauthorized intrusions into, and theft from, the computer networks of US companies to access their sensitive commercial information and trade secrets.”
At the time, he proposed 25% tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports in calendar year 2018.
It was the beginning of Sino/US trade war, 10% tariffs imposed on $200 billion more Chinese goods followed. Trump threatened 25% tariffs on all Chinese imports if Beijing doesn’t yield to unacceptable US demands by around March 1, 2019.
On the eve of Trump/Xi Jinping talks at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lightinzer said despite US duties on $250 billion worth Chinese imports, Beijing “has not altered its acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, and indeed appears to have taken further unreasonable actions in recent months.”
Both nations remain world’s apart on most economic, financial, geopolitical, trade, and security issues. Resolution is unlikely no matter how long talks continue.
China aims to become an economic, industrial, and technological powerhouse, an agenda it won’t abandon.
Washington wants its ambitions undermined – what Meng’s arrest and major bilateral differences are all about.