China's national power ensures Meng's different outcome from Alstom executive: Global Times editorial
China’s national power ensures Meng’s different outcome from Alstom executive: Global Times editorial
Published: Sep 25, 2021 06:15 PM
Meng Wanzhou Photo:AFP

Meng Wanzhou Photo:AFP

Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was released by Canada on early Saturday morning (Beijing time), and departed on a chartered plane arranged by the Chinese government bound for Shenzhen. Meng previously reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice. In a video hearing a few hours before her release, she only agreed to a "statement of facts" to the US federal court in New York and pleaded not guilty to all charges, upholding her own dignity and that of Huawei. As the case lasted for more than 1,000 days and caused a global sensation, the result has also effectively safeguarded China's national dignity.

On December 1, 2018, Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities at the Vancouver International Airport at the request of the US. At the peak of the China-US trade war, the US was beginning to attack Chinese high-tech companies. The arrest and the subsequent accusations were undisguised political persecution. It set a bad precedent of arresting business people during major power competition, threatening the safety of global business travel.

Following her detention, Meng and Huawei conducted a marathon lawsuit against the Canadian government. On the surface, Canada was engaged in a legal battle with Meng, but in fact, it has been considering the US' political attitude. The entire Western society is tacitly aware of this.

Meng will not plead guilty, nor will Huawei accept huge fines or compensation. This is the bottom line of justice. Meng herself and Huawei were unable to confront the state apparatus of the US and Canada. Thus, the Chinese government stood up from the very beginning and carried out continuous and unremitting efforts for Meng's release.

Chinese society has also given continuous attention and support to the protection of Meng's rights. When Meng was detained in Canada for nearly 1,000 days in August, the Global Times launched an online petition demanding Meng's immediate and unconditional release, and quickly accumulated 15 million signatures, showing Chinese public opinion to Canada.

The US and Canada cannot savagely carry out political persecution of Chinese businesspeople. This is the clear attitude of the whole China. China's will is backed by a powerful and persisting force. We believe this factor will occupy a prominent position when the US and Canada reflect on Meng's case.

On the same day Meng flew back to China, Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig who were charged with espionage also flew back to Canada. But the criminal offence committed by the two Canadians is completely different in nature from Meng's innocent political suffering. The distorted narrative of Canada and the West will not blind people around the world, nor can it change people's commonsense judgment of the ins and outs of Meng's case.

Meng's arrest broke some basic rules in the international order and stimulated the action of major power competition. The damage caused is far-reaching. We hope that when Meng's case comes to an end, Washington will reflect on their choices: Did they frighten and defeat Huawei? Did they intimidate China? No. The only effect of this case is to show the world how brutal the US can be to reach its political purpose, and how the US has ignored the rules. The case will be an eternal stain on the US.

We hope that Meng's release will play a positive role in addressing the shock and chaos that began three years ago, and will contribute to a restart of China-Canada relations and the thawing of China-US relations.

We believe many Chinese people have once again thought of the experience of France's Alstom. Due to the company's competition with its American counterparts, Alstom's executive Frédéric Pierucci was sentenced in the US on foreign bribery charges for five years in prison. Alstom paid a huge fine and was forced to sell its core business to the US' General Motors. In comparison, Meng and Huawei are much luckier.

It is China's national power that shaped this final result. A country will be surrounded with more troubles as it gets stronger, but only a strong country can enable us to deal with those troubles with dignity. Whenever we encounter a challenge, we neither have to risk it all in the fight, nor do we need to compromise our dignity.