tirsdag 28. september 2021

A dangerous new era of superpower confrontation was signaled this weekend

China wasn't even pretending. The swift release of two Canadians after a diplomatic deal ended a standoff over Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who faced extradition from Canada to the US, is a troubling sign of a new era of superpower confrontation. The Canadians were arrested on espionage charges in China shortly after Meng was detained in Vancouver in December 2018. She was hit with fraud charges on an American warrant in a case over alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran.

As part of a complex deal with US authorities to defer prosecution -- in which Meng pleaded not guilty but confirmed that she misrepresented Huawei's relationship with an Iranian subsidiary -- Meng was released from house arrest and returned to China to a hero's welcome. As she flew across the ocean, the two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, sped in the opposite direction. The apparent reciprocation ends the saga that strained relations between Canada and China, and Washington and Beijing.