Biden Blinked – Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Returns Home, US-DOJ Dropped Extradition Request

Pin It

Sep 25 2021
Linked In

For nearly 3 years, Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei Technologies, had been fighting extradition to the U.S. from Canada. Also known as Cathy Meng, she was confined to Vancouver and monitored 24/7 by private security that she pays for as part of her bail agreement. Today, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei is on her way home to China.


The “Princess of Huawei” and the US-DOJ reached an agreement to resolve U.S. bank fraud charges, allowing her to finally leave Canada in early Friday evening (Sept 24, 2021), the same day she appeared in Brooklyn federal court – virtually. She flew back on a charter flight arranged by the Chinese government and expected to arrive in Shenzhen Saturday night Beijing time.


Apparently, the U.S. Department of Justice said it had reached a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning the DOJ would hold off from prosecuting Sabrina Meng until December 2022. Obviously the deal was a face-saving solution to release the Huawei CFO without looking like the U.S. has entirely dropped the charges, which would make Biden administration looks weak.

Sabrina Meng Wanzhou - CFO of Huawei Technologies

The deal also allowed Meng to formally deny guilt, while at the same time agreed to a “statement of facts” that she made false statements to HSBC. The U.S. has alleged that Ms Meng misled HSBC over the true nature of Huawei’s relationship with a company called Skycom, a Hong Kong shell company used to sell Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.


In July this year, the deepening diplomatic row between the U.S. and China has grown after Canadian Judge Heather Holmes refused to admit new evidence that might have helped Sabrina Meng avoid extradition to the U.S. The next month (August), however, Holmes said she would reserve her decision until October 21, which was a delay tactic that led to today’s release of Meng.


On the same Friday the US-DOJ cancelled its extradition request, Canadian prosecutors told a court in Vancouver that they had withdrawn efforts to extradite Sabrina Meng to the U.S. and that she should be discharged from detention. The Canadian judge subsequently ordered that the Huawei CFO, who was detained in Canada on behalf of the U.S., can walk free.

Canadians Detained By China - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor

In what appeared to be a political deal – or hostage-swap deal – Beijing released two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, as Ms Meng’s plane took off from the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia, bound for China. Known as the “Two Michaels”, the Canadians, like the Huawei’s CFO, had become political hostages caught in crossfire in the US-China trade war.


Flashback – When Meng landed at Vancouver International Airport aboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong at 11:35am on December 1, 2018, she was expecting to have a 12-hour layover before proceeding to Mexico. However, upon learning of her trip, the U.S. had requested Canada to arrest the Huawei CFO. On Nov 30, a Canadian judge agreed to grant the U.S. request.


When she was eventually arrested at Vancouver International Airport, it instantly escalated tensions between the U.S. and China because coincidentally, it happened on the same night the U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping dined together in Buenos Aires and agreed to a 90-day trade truce. It also provoked  a furious reaction from China against Canada.

Chinese President Xi Jinping with US President Donald Trump

Just 10 days after Canada arrested Ms Meng, China retaliated by detaining two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, and charged them with participating in activities that harm China’s national security. More than 18 months after they were detained in secret detention, both Canadians were finally charged with spying in June 2020.


Beijing also sent another two Canadians on death row, leading Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to accuse Beijing of “arbitrarily” using capital punishment, deepening a diplomatic rift between the two countries. But Beijing was not done punishing Ottawa. In March 2019, Beijing blocked canola seed shipments from Richardson International and Viterra Inc – Canada’s two top exporters.


In May 2019, in what appeared to be a preparation for a long legal fight against her extradition to the U.S., Sabrina Meng moved from her C$5 million (US$3.7 million; £2.8 million; RM15.4 million) six-bedroom house to her newly renovated C$13 million (US$9.6 million; £7.4 million; RM40 million) seven-bedroom mansion. Her plan was to outlive Trump’s presidency.

Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou - Canada House Arrest

Her lawyers’ strategy was to drag the case for as long as possible, seeking a stay of her extradition due to “political factors”. The defence attorneys said she was innocent because the banks involved, including HSBC and Standard Chartered, actually had knowledge of the nature of Skycom’s business and operations in Iran and understood the company’s relationship with Huawei.


Sabrina’s defense team had also taken offence with her arrest on December 1, 2018 in Vancouver International Airport. Her legal eagles claimed that during the three hours she was held, her luggage was detained and searched. The FBI (U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation) had also seized her cellphone and electronic devices, forcing her to reveal her passwords of the devices.


In the same breath, Meng’s defence lawyers argued that the extradition request from the U.S. failed to satisfy a requirement known as “double criminality”. Double criminality, or dual criminality, states that a suspect can be extradited from one country to stand trial for breaking a second country’s laws only if a similar law exists in the extraditing country.

United States - Canada - Sign Board

In essence, it means the crime of which Meng was accused of by the U.S. must also be a crime in Canada. In this case, the Huawei CFO was accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. However, her attorneys argued that Canada does not have sanctions on financial services in Iran. Hence, she cannot be extradited for the alleged bank and wire fraud or conspiracy to commit the offence.


More importantly, her lawyers argued in court that the arrest has been politically motivated from the beginning, despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s claim that Ms Meng’s arrest had “no political involvement”. Meng’s lawyers said comments by Trump, who said the charges could be dropped if that would help China trade talks, is proof that the case was politically motivated.


PM Trudeau, who had been facing pressure from an ex-Supreme Court justice and several former foreign ministers to drop the extradition case against Sabrina Meng in hopes that it will spur China to release the two Canadians, continued to be threatened with trade war from Beijing. In June 2020, China temporarily suspended beef imports from Canada.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

As early as January 2019, Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. David MacNaughton had started blaming the U.S. for the diplomatic fallout, saying – “We don’t like that it is our citizens who are being punished. The Americans are the ones seeking to have the full force of American law brought against Ms. Meng and yet we are the ones who are paying the price. Our citizens are.”


Trump’s defeat in the U.S. Presidential Election has provided an opportunity to Joe Biden and Justin Trudeau to fix the diplomatic problems. Biden was not interested in prolonging the issue, which could make the US-China relationship beyond repair if Ms Meng is extradited and slapped with up to 30 years in prison in the U.S. – if found guilty of the charges.


Hence, the U.S. Department of Justice has begun discussing a settlement with Meng as early as December, 2020. The deal was quite similar to one hatched during Trump administration. However, the deal collapsed as the Huawei CFO insisted she had done nothing wrong, refusing to admit that she had violated U.S. law, as required in the deal.

President Xi Jinping with Huawei Founder Ren Zhengfei

According to an earlier settlement deal leaked, the U.S. was prepared to end the extradition request and criminal proceedings against Meng Wanzhou if she pleads guilty and pays a hefty fine. However, Beijing possessed the trump cards – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. In August, China tightened the screw when a Chinese court sentenced Spavor to 11 years in prison for espionage.


While Kovrig’s verdict, following a secret trial in March, was yet to be announced, it’s not rocket science that he would also be sentenced to years in prison for spying. At least four other Canadians are on death sentences in China, with escalations in their cases coinciding with developments in Meng’s case. If Beijing likes, the two Michaels could also be sentenced to death for espionage.


After being detained for more than 1,000 days in China, the last thing PM Justin Trudeau wants is to see Kovrig and Spavor joining the bandwagon of death penalty. Releasing Sabrina Meng in exchange for freeing Kovrig and Spavor would deliver a political victory to the Canadian prime minister. Even if China had engaged in “hostage diplomacy”, so did the United States.

Donald Trump Blacklisting Huawei

From the beginning, the arrest of 49-year-old Meng was part of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to challenge and undermine Huawei’s growing dominance in 5G mobile technology. Arresting the Huawei’s CFO, instead of punishing the company itself, for selling computers to Iran was over-killed, not to mention a sloppy job, to intimidate China.


While China and Canada have reason to celebrate now that their respective citizens have been freed to return home, critics of China in Washington reacted angrily to the deal to release Sabrina Meng Wanzhou. Senator Tom Cotton has accused the Biden administration of choosing “to appease the Chinese Communist Party rather than enforcing the law.”


Mr Cotton said – “Instead of standing firm against China’s hostage-taking and blackmail, President Biden folded. This surrender only encourages the Communists in Beijing to take more Americans and our allies hostage in the future”. Another critic, Representative Jim Banks, said – “Letting Ms. Meng off with a slap on the wrist communicates that the U.S. is not serious at all about enforcing our sanctions laws.”

US President Joe Biden


Other Articles That May Interest You …

Pin It

FinanceTwitter SignOff
If you enjoyed this post, what shall you do next? Consider:

Like FinanceTwitter Tweet FinanceTwitter Subscribe Newsletter   Leave Comment Share With Others


Would have been a great show if both Canada and the US had the elephant testicles to go ahead with extradition, send the kidnapped Meng Wan Zhou to the US.

The phcuking problem with the North American countries is they spent too much time and energy posturing “holy righteousness”and doing all those big talk of” toughness”.

Unfortunately for gweilos, Almighty Ketuanan Cina could play the angmoh game too – but played it better!

China toughed it out throughout and not only that grabbed Canadians for use as pawns in their game against the angmohs, fantastic moves and jolly good show. China’s counter shouts out loud “Don’t fcuk about with us, you bastards!” and “We fcuk you back, how about that then?!”

At the end of it all, the Yanks and the Canadians lost the showdown.
It was a massive loss of face, not much said so far, but an utter humiliation. I thought the angmohs like to say Asians don’t like to “lose face”, what the Yanks and Canadians effectively did was capitulate to Almighty Ketuanan Cina.

A better game would have been to fight it to the end, showing great confidence, and righteousness – with a big helping of ketuanan thrown in the stir-fry.

So as those in Bolehland would say: “Like this one, where got?! Surrender like this and the Chinese will never respect you, one!”

And so it went, China made a big deal of its victory, had a big show of a hero’s welcome home for Meng – “Sabrina” to you bananas who prefer angmoh names or cannot plonounce Chinese words one, wtf you yellow- and brown skin phcuking colonial niggahs!

No doubt the Chinese will make the most of it all, continue to milk the max out of wiping them angmoh faces on Her bottom, I look forward to the continuing show after show the Chinese will stage.

Anyway, the way Sleepy Joe crawled to Almighty Ketuanan Cina begging for that recent phone conversation with Emperor Xi, you knew Sleepy Joe surrendered to the refusal of the Chinese to pay any attention to Yankland. It is very clear the Yanks caved in to one of the Chinese demand from its long list of Yank capitulations it must make before the Chinese
would be half-bothered about speaking to Yankland.

About the two Canadians the Chinese sent back in exchange for Meng, they were met at their airport by those from Canadian spy agency. In other words, yes China knew they were spies all along.

1. US imposed its unilateral law on a Chinese citizen for a false fraud committed in Hong Kong with a British bank.

2. The search and arrest of Mrs. Meng in Canada airport was done illegally.

3. The two Michaels arrested by China were spies.

4. If Canada sends Meng to US, a number of US spies will also be arrested.

5. It’s an international norm to trade spies. China is doing it right.

6. Biden needs to resolve this issue so that the mutual dialog with China can proceed. China does not want to arrest US spies and want to improve the tie.

Leave a Reply


(required)(will not be published)