tirsdag 28. september 2021

China celebrates Meng Wanzhou's return as a victory — even at the cost of its global image

For Beijing, the return of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to China after a prolonged extradition fight with the United States has been celebrated as a resounding victory. From the moment a government-chartered plane lifted Meng out of Canada — where the CFO spent nearly three years living under house arrest in her multimillion-dollar mansion— her journey home has become an all-out nationalist propaganda blitz.

A red carpet and crowds waving Chinese flags awaited her on the tarmac in the southern city of Shenzhen, where the tech giant Huawei is headquartered. Patriotic slogans and songs resounded in the arrival hall of the airport. Downtown skyscrapers lit up with messages welcoming her home. The event was broadcast live by state media, and the internet was abuzz with excitement. An online livestream by state broadcaster CCTV ran for six straight hours, attracting more than 83 million views. That's more than double the 38 million views of the launch of China's manned mission to send three astronauts into space in June.