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Trump's Team Takes Daughter of Chinese Billionaire “Hostage”
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Trump's Team Takes Daughter of Chinese Billionaire “Hostage”

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NEW YORK – December 7, 2018

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Deputy General Director and at the same time financial Director of Huawei Corporation, caused joy and ecstasy within the American political and media elite. If to believe the CNN sources, part of the Trump administration believes that this arrest can be used as a "lever of pressure" on Beijing in negotiations on trade issues, which means that the US leadership has finally moved to a means of solving international issues that is more typical of terrorist organizations than self-respecting civilized states.

Someone may think that this is literally a "power move" on the part of the Trump administration, but in this case, we believe, the Trump administration rather harms long-term American interests and this harm does not depend on any tactical benefits that the US may or may not receive due to the arrest in Canada of the top Manager of the flagship of the Chinese Telecom industry.

There are several factors that make Meng Wanzhou's arrest a completely unprecedented event. She is not just a top manager and the alleged future head of Huawei. Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei founder Chinese billionaire Ren Zhengfei.

The arrest was made in the context of the tough struggle waged against Huawei by special services and anti-Chinese policies of various countries: For example, recently the British company British Telecom refused to use Huawei equipment in the process of deployment of the 5G network in the country, and in countries such as New Zealand, Australia, and the US, restrictions were imposed against the company's participation in public procurement or important infrastructure projects.

As Chinese commentators rightly note, the situation around the company has already demonstrated with maximum clarity that in the case of failure to defeat Chinese competitors by legal market methods, Western partners are ready to use non-market measures of influence. However, even the most pessimistic Chinese experts did not predict that the US would use hostage-taking as a means of competition.

It should be noted that the Canadian authorities have not yet given an official explanation of the reasons for the arrest. Only the formal part of the question is known - "the arrest was made at the request of the USA". But the fact that the arrest is allegedly associated with the violation of anti-Iranian sanctions by Huawei is nothing more than "information with reference to informed sources", so at the moment the charges against the top manager of Huawei are a Pandora’s box, which can be anything from circumventing anti-Iranian sanctions to espionage against the US or interference in any American elections.

Officials in  Beijing, if you look at the situation from a tactical point of view, face a rather unpleasant problem: On the one hand, they must protect their citizens to save face in light of other human rights violations, and on the other hand China does not have any really effective, but at the same time rapid and proportionate methods of influence on the US or Canada. To answer proportionately - that is, the arrest of some American businessman - would mean pure stupidity, because it would play into the hands of Trump, who just wanted American business to stay away from China.

You can threaten sanctions Canada and/or the United States, but they are unlikely to work, especially if the threat is voiced publicly: Neither Trudeau nor Trump are ready to lose face in a confrontation with China. The most likely (but, of course, not the only possible) development of events is diplomatic protests from China and the transformation of the issue of the release of the daughter of the founder of Huawei into a long-term "sore point" of relations between Washington and Beijing.

However, if you look at the situation in the long term, the American victory easily becomes a catalyst for the radicalization of China's internal and external position. The fact is that there are very serious analogies between the arrest of the daughter of the founder of Huawei and sanctions against Russian companies (for example the Deripaska’ companies): In both cases, the Americans very much hope that the sanctions will lead to an "elite revolution" and that the middle class under the leadership of oligarchs and pro-American politicians will overthrow the unwanted power in Moscow or Beijing.

This scheme did not work with Russia (although many in Washington haven’t lost hope), and now a similar method is being used against China. Meng Wanzhou is to some extent an ideal victim for "exemplary punishment" by the American authorities: She was arrested in Canada where the children of Chinese businessmen and party nomenclature live, study and receive a residency permit and citizenship; Chinese money is laundered there, without which the Canadian economy would be much poorer.

As China Media Watch points out, among the reactions in Chinese social networks to the arrest of the founder's daughter Huawei was found the following thesis — "she probably has Canadian citizenship!" And we should admit that there are certain grounds for such suspicions. The possible presence of Canadian citizenship explains the courage with which the Canadian authorities acted. Washington, in its attempts to intensify the internal Chinese revolution, actually contributes to the nationalization of the Chinese elites, who are already beginning to understand that "earn in Shanghai, and spend in Vancouver" will no longer work, not only because of the efforts of the "Disciplinary Committee" of the Chinese Communist party, but also because everybody knows now that you can be with the whole family behind bars and confiscated property.

It is hard to imagine a greater gift for President Xi, who needs to consolidate Chinese society in the face of an external threat. The arrest of "Princess Huawei" is an insult to Chinese national pride, a demonstration of Western lawlessness, and a motivator for the nationalization of the elite.

The American elite is not particularly hiding their demands on Russia and China. Russia-in their opinion-should again begin to behave as the country that lost the Cold War. From China, as well as from Russia, the Americans demand to return to 1991— a time when the Chinese economy was largely engaged in what was an assembly shop for the US, in which the Chinese worked "for a portion of rice" and did not claim technological leadership. For example, the US special representative for trade negotiations with China Robert Lightheiser directly demands that China abandon the program Made in China 2025, which involves mass import substitution in the Chinese technological and industrial sectors.

Washington's dreams of the return of China and Russia to the 90s are unlikely to be realized. But to achieve the consolidation of elites in Russia and China, as well as the strengthening of Russian-Chinese cooperation in terms of confrontation with Washington, the American leadership will succeed for sure. The outgoing generation of American strategists, who played a key role in the US victory in the Cold War, many times warned Washington that this cannot be done, but unfortunately for the US, the current generation of American elite prefers to listen to their own pride, not the old experts.

Author: USA Really