GT Voice: Meng’s homecoming a rare chance to reset China-US relations
Published: Sep 26, 2021 08:37 PM
Meng Wanzhou Photo:AFP

Meng Wanzhou Photo:AFP

While many observers expect the return of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to create a relatively favorable atmosphere for US-China relations, some stubborn anti-China forces can't help but flagrantly point an accusing finger at the development, only to make themselves look like a "contemptible scoundrel" like in a well-known Chinese idiom.

US Senator Marco Rubio called on Saturday Meng's release as "another example of the Biden administration's dangerously soft approach" toward China, which he said raised serious questions about US President Joe Biden's ability to confront the threat posed by the technology giant and the Communist Party of China, Reuters reported.

Rubio's comment underscores the absurd reaction shared by anti-China forces in the face of the fact that the US government cannot use its massive state apparatus to arbitrarily persecute Chinese citizens and firms and force Meng to plead guilty through the exercise of so-called long-arm jurisdiction, like they did before in the case of Alstom executive Frédéric Pierucci.

As a flag bearer for China's technological power, Huawei has suffered various crackdowns by the US. Meng's arrest at Vancouver International Airport on a US warrant has been seen as a symbolic incident of US suppression toward Chinese technology companies, followed by a series of groundless accusations and sanctions against Huawei.

But Huawei hasn't been crushed. Now with Meng's return, Huawei has shrugged off the endless ordeal. This has also reinforced the market confidence that Huawei will stage a comeback from several years of hardship. The confidence comes not only from Meng's persistence over the past three years, but also from Huawei's consistent breakthroughs in innovation and research. 

While Huawei's smartphone business has been hit hard due to the restriction of chip supplies, it has continued to make inroads in other areas. Huawei launched openEuler operating system (OS) on Saturday, another self-developed OS after the HarmonyOS and marking another milestone for building a full-scenario ecosystem.

This is certainly not what the likes of Rubio want to see, but the noise they created will not change the basic facts that the charges on Meng were politically motivated to crack down on Chinese high-tech companies. Meng will not plead guilty, nor will Huawei play by their rules. That is the fact that Rubio and other anti-China politicians must accept. 

In fact, their advocacy of being tough on China won't intimidate the world's most vibrant consumer economy. If they follow through on their tough talk, and Huawei is forced to pay heavy fines or suffer further crackdowns, wouldn't China also demand penalties from those involved in the US arms sales to the island of Taiwan? At that time, would anti-China forces still dare to claim credit for causing a real disaster within US-China economic ties? 

Meng's return home is seen as a sign of easing bilateral economic and trade tensions. The relatively positive signal is rare and commendable in the current context. It is imperative for both sides to take the opportunity to cool trade rows rather than escalating, and there is no need to let toxic political rhetoric poison atmosphere for the world's most important bilateral relationship.