The Cross-Canada Campaign to Free Meng Wanzhou

A panel discussion by the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute

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From the start of December 2018, with trade war tensions with China growing, and through the entire COVID-19 crisis, Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the telecom giant Huawei, has been trapped in Canada and waiting for the day she might be extradited to the U.S.

Meng was a notable figure within China. She is the daughter of Ren Zhegfei, the founder of Huawei technologies and the 83rd richest person in the world. The Chinese public did not exactly take the matter lightly and are fighting fiercely for the release of their caged bird. The detention of two Canadians just days after Meng’s arrest, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, is seen by many western analysts as retaliatory.[1][2]

The Office of Canadian Prime Minister on the other hand stated that he was obliged according to the “rule of law” to arrest this person. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau said Canada had a extradition treaty with the U.S. and was forced to act according to standard legal protocol. But the China Daily newspaper published an opinion piece stating Canada was acting “as a loyal adherent of the U.S. in the Meng detention drama.” [3]

Meanwhile, opinions in Canada suggest that favourable views of China have plummeted from 48 per cent to 14 per cent. Most would prohibit Huawei’s use in the nation’s 5G roll-out, and the vast majority also believe China has not told the complete truth about COVID-19.[4]

Worse, anti-Asian violence is on the rise. The Guardian reports that in Vancouver, anti-Asian hate crimes have gone up 717 per cent over the previous year.[5]

Nevertheless, peace communities in Canada disagreed with the stance taken by Trudeau and think it is about time Meng Wanzhou was set free. Consequently, Cyrus Janssen hosted a panel discussion in May of 2021 outlining the broader context. The Global Research News Hour took samples of the talk and made it available for broadcast this week.

The Cross-Canada Campaign to Free Meng Wanzhou was sponsored by the Canada China Council for Cooperation and Development, the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute, the Canadian Peace Congress, the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, and the International Action Center.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Sheila Xiao is a second generation Chinese-American, a researcher, data scientist and community organizer, and co-founder of the group Pivot to Peace.

Cyrus Janssen is an international business consultant, entrepreneur, speaker and American expat. He now considers Shanghai, Hong Kong and Vancouver his home during the past 13 years.


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  3. ibid
  5. Johna Baylon and Leyland Cecco (may 23, 2021), Attacks make Vancouver ‘anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America’, The Guardian;

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Articles by: Michael Welch and Christopher Black

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