U.S. Department of Justice and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou Reached Agreement
On September 25, nearly three years
after Canada detained Huawei Technologies Co.'s Chief Financial Officer Meng
Wanzhou on behalf of the United States, the U.S. Department of Justice allowed
her to return to China, thereby eliminating a factor that causes the
deterioration of U.S.-China relations.
According to an agreement reached in
Brooklyn federal court on Friday, Meng admitted wrongdoings. In exchange,
prosecutors postponed and later dropped charges of wire fraud and bank fraud
Meng admitted that in 2013, she made untrue
statements to HSBC about Huawei's business interests in Iran, causing the bank
to provide services that violated sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Iran.
Some U.S. national security experts who
urge the U.S. to take a tougher stance against China say that they see this
agreement as a surrender and will be used by the Chinese government. Matt
Turpin, a former China director of the Trump Administration’s National Security
Council, said he believes that Beijing will consider hostage-taking to be effective
and that Washington will succumb under pressure. The agreement to release Meng
may come under fire in the U.S. Congress. Some Republicans have accused the
Biden administration of being too lenient with Huawei compared with former
President Donald Trump. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo told The Wall
Street Journal that the Department of Commerce will continue its efforts to
prevent Huawei from acquiring advanced chips.
Huawei does not participate in Meng’s
agreement, and will continue to defend the allegations faced by the company,
but prosecutors can use Meng's admission to deal with the company. At the same
time, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters that two Canadian
citizens detained by the Chinese government for more than 1,000 days have left
Chinese airspace and will arrive in Canada early Saturday.
Although Beijing insisted there is no
connection between the two cases, Trudeau's Liberal government accused China of
engaging in hostage diplomacy. Trudeau was not asked whether the two countries
had struck a bilateral deal. "I want to thank our allies and partners
around the world in the international community who have stood steadfast in
solidarity with Canada and with these two Canadians," he said.
The release of the two Canadians and
Meng Wanzhou at the same time could be taken by the outside world as a
confirmation of the accusation of "hostage diplomacy" against China.
The impact of this on China’s international reputation is huge.
Meng substantially admitted the charges
against her by the U.S. Department of Justice and related incidents did occur.
If the U.S. and Huawei continue to confront over this issue in the future, the
focus will be that the incidents “did happen”. However, due to the change of
Meng's attitude, Huawei will undoubtedly be in a passive situation.
On the whole, China has almost lost all
in this deal, and the only visible benefit may lie in its domestic publicity. The motive behind this decision is probably to reduce the damages,
i.e. preventing Meng from being extradited to the U.S. to cause further harm.
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