Sunday, December 9, 2018

Trump on the precipice and China's rage

Canada's detainment of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, has the Chinese livid. This happened in Canada at the request of the U.S. for the firm's alleged violations of Iran sanctions.

The Chinese government is urging Canada to release Ms. Meng, and it should. The U.S. has other ways to pursue sanctions with multinational firms, and it ought take those routes instead.

If Ms. Meng is extradited to the U.S., China's anger will likely grow. China Daily writes: "Canada has treated Meng as a dangerous criminal, handcuffing her at the airport and making her wear angle restraints after her first bail hearing."

If Ms. Meng is treated the same way we treat cartel drug lords, public opinion in China toward the U.S. may nosedive. It will become harder for the U.S. to resolve trade issues and scale down tensions over the South China Sea and Taiwan.

The Iranian sanctions have never stopped U.S. technology from ending up in Iran. U.S. equipment can arrive in Iran via other Middle Eastern countries.

Meanwhile, President Trump seems thoroughly distracted by the special counsel investigation and now appears vulnerable to impeachment.

Trump, at this moment, seems wholly incapable of resolving the problems with China, and China may conclude this as well. It's best strategy may be to wait and see how Congress responds to special counsel Robert Mueller's forthcoming report. But the immediate problem concerns Ms. Meng, and hopefully Canada will find a way to release her quickly.

And how does this impact Guam? It won't help with Chinese tourism or relations.

This issue will drag on for time. It will wear on Canadian relations with China. The next crisis will be a decision by Canada, not due until sometime in 2020, to extradite Ms. Meng to the U.S. 

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