China urges US to clear to-do lists after Meng, bring ties on right track
Published: Sep 28, 2021 10:35 PM
Meng Wanzhou speaks to media outside the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada on Friday. Photo: cnsphoto

Meng Wanzhou speaks to media outside the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada on Friday. Photo: cnsphoto

While some observers considered resolving the incident of Huawei's senior executive Meng Wanzhou as pulling out a nail in China-US relationship, a Chinese official urged the US to take action in correcting other mistakes on the two lists that China presented to the US in July after it has corrected one - the release of Meng.  

Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, refuted Tuesday the Western media and observers' hype on the return of Meng and the incident of two Michaels - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - as "hostage diplomacy" and claiming that such tactic may be used by China often in the future.

"Such claims sound familiar. Just as some in the US and other Western countries are used to making and fanning up sensational and absurd rumors on China-related issues, those making such statements are simply crying wolf, and smearing China by spreading disinformation," Hua said. 

"It's widely known that the US is the creator of 'hostage diplomacy' and 'coercive diplomacy'," she said on Tuesday during a press conference in refuting some Western media reports which said hostage-taking of innocent foreign citizens could be used by China often in the future.

These two Canadians confessed their guilt over espionage charges they committed in China and were released on bail for medical reasons before they left China on a plane to Canada on Friday, the Global Times learned from a source familiar with the matter. And they wrote confession and repentance letters in their own handwriting.

Meng reached a landmark deal with the US Justice Department on Friday that allowed her to return to China, under which the senior executive of the Chinese company has not pleaded guilty.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki also said on Monday that these two cases have no link, saying that the deferred prosecution agreement reached between Meng and the DOJ is an independent law enforcement matter, Reuters reported. 

By giving a classic example about the US creating "hostage diplomacy," Hua talked about what happened with ex-Alstom executive Frédéric Pierucci, who was arrested in the US for his alleged role in a 2003-2004 corruption case involving Alstom in Indonesia, pleaded guilty and spent 25 months in prison in the US, which vividly showed how Washington used "long-arm jurisdiction" to strike down competitors. 

But Meng reached a different outcome from what happened to Pierucci. In the latest interview, the former French executive attributed this positive outcome for Meng to the country's efforts. He also said that it's a big win for China, as the first time a country stood up to the long-arm jurisdiction of the US in such a way. 

The Meng case has been widely taken as a symbolic turning point in the years-long geopolitical wrestling between China and the US and a hard-fought victory for the country and its people against Western hegemony, observers said. 

The Chinese foreign ministry also said the case reflected the unremitting efforts of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the government in protecting the legitimate rights of Chinese citizens. 

Hua also said at the press conference that during the phone call between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in early September, the two leaders had candid, in-depth and extensive strategic communication and exchanges on China-US relations and issues of common concern. 

President Xi raised the case of Meng Wanzhou in the phone call with Biden, expounded on China's position and urged the US to resolve the incident properly as soon as possible, Hua said.

Since Meng was groundlessly detained in early December, 2018, Xi gave personal attention to this case and the Chinese government had worked at various levels and on multiple occasions to provide consular protection and assistance to Meng, lodged solemn representations with the US and Canada, asking them to drop the erroneous charges against Meng and ensure her safe return to China as early as possible, Hua said.  

While Psaki emphasized that the matter did not indicate a softening stance toward China and Washington's China policy has not changed, Hua said whether to restore the bilateral relationship depends on whether the US corrects all other mistakes listed on the two lists that China put forward to the US recently. 

In recent talks between China and the US in North China's Tianjin, China presented the US with a list of things that the US was doing wrong that it should correct and another on individual cases that China was concerned about. Through the lists, the US was asked to drop charges against Meng and let her return to China. 

Resolving the matter of Meng has a positive significance, but for a period of time, the US has been conducting wrong China policies, creating more "nails" in China-US relations, and we hope that the US will take concrete actions to act on the list, Hua said. 

In the list of things that the US was doing wrong, China urged the US to unconditionally revoke the visa restrictions on CPC members and their families, revoke sanctions on Chinese leaders, officials and government agencies, and remove visa restrictions on Chinese students.

In another list, China expressed serious concerns on some key individual cases, including Chinese students' visa applications being rejected, Chinese citizens receiving unfair treatment in the US, Chinese diplomatic and consular missions being harassed and rammed into by perpetrators in the country, as well as growing anti-Asian and anti-China sentiment.