After 3 years under house arrest in Canada at the request of the US on an accusation of violating US sanctions and bank fraud charges, Meng Wanzhou was on Saturday 25 September 2021 released by a Canadian court.
But before she was released, it was arranged for her to appear before a US judge in New York virtually as a way of helping the US administration of Joe Biden to save face and show that her release was a legal decision not politically motivated although that was the case.
The US has lost. China and Canada both got what they wanted after Meng Wanzhou was set free, China also set free the two Michaels who was detained on charges of threatening national security by trading security secrets immediately after Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada in 2018.
The Meng Wanzhou case has shown that Chinese leadership will not back down even if pressured because after her arrest in 2018, then president of the US Donald J Trump said that Meng Wanzhou was going to be used as leverage in trade talks with China but China refused saying that Meng Wanzhou had done nothing wrong and should be released.
Also, this case helped the world torch through how Western countries especially the US use courts to prosecute people politically the accusation that has been labelled against non-democratic countries like China.
It remains unclear where the relations between China, the US, and Canada will go from now but what is clear is that China has sent a bitter message to mostly Western countries who like arresting people due to US sanctions” you arrest our people, we arrest yours” without compromise.
This case also has shown a power shift that is rapidly heading East with the rise of China as China has gained confidence and ability to successfully stand up to the US and prevent its long arm of law from operating in China like what the US did in the 1990s by threatening any country which arrested its citizens without telling US leadership.
By setting Meng Wanzhou free, the Joe Biden administration has filled one of many 6 demands China gave the US for cooperation to resume and it remains to be seen where things go from here because the US needs China’s help on many fronts including pulling the US economy out of recession by buying US Treasury bonds that will enable the US to print more money to pay its workers for next few years.
There are also other issues that the US needs China’s cooperation on like Afghanistan, climate change, Myanmar, trade, and reformat the UN not forgetting that both Joe Biden and Xi Jinping don’t want Donald J Trump to return again which means both countries will have to work together to prevent that from happening in 2024.
The relationship between the US and China has been tense since the Trump administration started a trade war in 2018 with many issues of disagreements emerging every day including accusations of human rights abuses, stealing IPOs, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea and technology by banning Huawei the world’s leading telecommunication equipment vendor and so on.
There is no doubt that China of today is a very powerful country both economically and militarily and that is making the US uncomfortable.
It can also be said that today the world has got two leaderships one in Washington DC and another one in Beijing. It’s not true that China is a superpower like what the US used to be but it’s heading there in few years as it tries to establish its own system globally instead of operating on the US system on which the world is currently running.
China can only be called a sole superpower after it has established its own system throughout the world and it remains to be seen if it will succeed.