十二月, 由于美国的引渡请求，在温哥华机场，华为的主席财务官，华为奠基人任正非的女儿 —孟晚舟—被逮捕了。这是在同一天美国总统特兰普和习近平在阿根廷出席G20会议，然后达成协议，决定暂时停止中美贸易战。可是四天以后孟晚舟被逮捕的信息才传出去，可能会导致中美关系恶化。报导表现孟女士的逮捕可能与对伊朗违法贸易有关。接受记者采访的时候，美国国家安全顾问John Bolton拒绝评论反而他说他为中国企业惯例非常发愁。
一位外交部发言人告诉记者， “无缘无故的拘留侵犯了一个人的人权。我们要求加拿大和美国澄清逮捕的原因。为了保护个人的人权，我们希望马上释放孟晚舟。然后在北京， 两个加拿大人被逮捕了。1月10日，加拿大要求释放他们以后，中国驻加大使说孟晚舟事件突显“白人优越论”。
In December, due to an American extradition request, Huawei’s CFO and founder Ren Zhengfei’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested at Vancouver airport. This was on the same day as US President Trump and Xi Jinping attended the G20 summit in Argentina, where they reached an agreement to temporarily halt the Sino-American trade war. However, four days later, the news of the arrest of Ms Meng got out and led to a worsening of US-China relations.
Reports show that Ms Meng’s arrest may be linked to illegal trade with Iran. When questioned by journalists, US National Security Advisor John Bolton declined to comment and instead stated however that he was concerned with Chinese companies’ business practices.
Huawei is one of the world’s biggest technology companies, recently overtaking Apple to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer, only behind Samsung. Huawei’s rise occurred at the same time when China was developing rapidly, and thus there were lots of consumers and a huge market base. Huawei’s selling model can be analysed from two aspects. Firstly, consumers like their high-quality phones (their quality on par with Apple products). But Huawei also produces cheap phones which are incredibly popular with consumers with weak purchasing power.
Why does Huawei make the West concerned?
In the past, like many other Chinese companies, Huawei was accused of copying Western technology and selling it cheaply. But now, some Western governments are worried that they will control the 5G network through Huawei. This situation may allow the Chinese government to expand its espionage activities yet Huawei insists that there is no governmental control. US lawmakers have repeatedly accused Huawei of being a threat to national security and local media pointed out that experts expect Japan to ban the government from using Huawei products. After Australia banned Huawei, New Zealand also banned domestic telecom operators from using Huawei’s 5G technology equipment on the grounds of national security risks.
What is the significance of this situation?
It is difficult to exaggerate the symbolic meaning of this event. Huawei is the diamond of Chinese technology companies, and Ms. Meng is its princess. This incident is not only about the arrest of a woman or a company: this arrest time may further worsen Sino-US relations, which may be one of the most sensitive time periods in their long and tumultuous history.
What does the Chinese government say?
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters that “the detention of a person for absolutely no reason violates their human rights. We asked Canada and the United States to clarify the reasons for the arrest, and, in order to protect the human rights of the individual, we hope Meng Wanzhou is released immediately. Then, in Beijing, two Canadians were arrested. On January 10, after Canada asked them to be released, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada said that the Meng Wanzhou incident highlighted the “white superiority theory.”
What does Huawei say?
In a statement, Huawei said ‘we comply with all relevant laws and regulations, including the United Nations, the United States and the European Union’s export and sanctions laws. They also said, “We believe that it is not appropriate for the United States to exert pressure on the company in this way. They are opposing the spirit of free economy and fair competition.” Huawei has worked hard to insist that it has no relationship with the Chinese government. Security is its priority and it believes that the reason why the US doesn’t like Huawei is because Huawei is very efficient, much more so than American companies.
My personal opinion
This problem is exceptionally thorny. When I was discussing this with my Canadian friends, although they aren’t afraid of their personal safety, we’re all worried that the conflict is getting worse: a government intervening in the internal affairs of other countries always leads to problems. In order to solve this problem, both countries need to work together. What will happen in the future? Who knows!