Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wasn’t the only loser in his gamble to call an early election. Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO who was spinning her wheels in Canada since her 2018 arrest at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department, is also a loser, and a bigger one.
Unlike Trudeau, whose status as leader of a minority government remains largely the same, Meng is now damaged goods, compelled to accept a de facto plea deal that brands her as a liar and a fraud. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) may have staged a hero’s welcome for her upon her return to China, but that charade will be short-lived. Because she is now a national embarrassment, the CCP will throw Meng, and possibly her father (Huawei’s founder), under the bus.
For almost three years in her captivity in Vancouver, Meng clung to her claim of innocence while her legal and public relations teams in Canada and the United States fought on all fronts to avoid her extradition to the United States. Then almost immediately after Trudeau’s failure to secure a majority government, Meng swiftly capitulated, admitting to her criminality to secure a quick exit from Canada. To make the capitulation complete, the Chinese regime also released the two Michaels they had arrested, eliminating the pretense that they were anything but hostages in the negotiations over Meng’s release.
Why would Trudeau’s electoral failure lead Meng, and the CCP, to throw in the towel and agree to the U.S. Justice Department’s deferred prosecution agreement, which lists in voluminous detail her serial deceptions in furthering an illicit trade deal with Iran? A Trudeau majority government would have put Canada’s China-friendly Liberal Party in power for another four years, allowing it to release Meng from her confinement in Vancouver without fear of an immediate political blowback that might topple it from power. With Trudeau’s failure, in part the result of the Canadian electorate’s disapproval of his weak-kneed approach to China, the CCP lost its ability to pressure Canadian authorities, who to the surprise of many was continuing to resist China’s pressure.
At this point, the CCP decided to cut its losses by having Meng accept the same bargain that she could have had years earlier. The CCP decision in part stemmed from fear that it would continue to look impotent in its years-long failure to bully Canadian authorities into releasing Meng. More worrying was a looming court decision. In October, Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes of British Columbia’s Supreme Court was due to announce the date at which she would reveal her decision on whether to grant the U.S. extradition request.
The embarrassment to China of having the CFO of one of its national champions abjectly admit to serial deception is as nothing compared to a plausible alternative scenario—that the Canadian justice system would have agreed to the extradition, followed by a refusal of the Trudeau cabinet to overturn Holmes’s ruling.
In Vancouver, where Meng has lived in the lap of luxury in her mansions, attended to by her Huawei staff and servants, the Chinese regime could portray her proudly, accorded the dignity befitting a giant in the corporate world. Upon landing in the United States following her extradition, where publicity-seeking prosecutors might have staged a perp walk, the world would have seen a Chinese icon humiliated and the CCP ridiculed as toothless.
That outcome, which China’s extensive intelligence network in Canada may well have determined to be in the works, would have been too damaging to China’s image of itself to countenance. Better to end the drama, spin Meng’s return as a victory now, and dispense CCP justice later. Beijing took down Jack Ma and other titans of Chinese industry when they failed the CCP. Huawei’s leadership, whose failure to cover their tracks in their illicit dealings with Iran redounded negatively on the CCP, will be no less immune.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.