During an recent interview with America’s National Public Radio, National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed that he knew in advance that Washington would instruct the Canadian authorities to arrest Meng Wanzhou in preparation for an extradition to the United States. Bolton also claimed that while he was aware that this was happening on the day that Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina (while Bolton himself was in attendance), the American National Security Advisor indicated that it was possible that Trump was unaware of Meng’s arrest.
If Bolton’s scandalous statement does in fact paint the entire picture of what happened in respect of the kidnapping style arrest and subsequent illegal detention of Meng, it lends credibility to the theory postulated by many observers which insists that while Trump may have been negotiating with Xi in good faith, elements of his government up to and including John Bolton were actively conspiring to stage a violent provocation against China in the form of the unlawful kidnapping of a prominent Chinese businesswoman by compliant Canadian authorities. What’s more is that by hinting at the fact that Trump was likely unaware of Meng’s despicable detention, Bolton has accidentally revealed how aloof the US President may well be when it comes to being informed on crucial issues that will have a profound impact on his ability to govern domestically and negotiate with fellow heads of state and government.
Bolton’s exact words regarding this matter are as follows:
“I knew in advance. This is something that we get from the Justice Department. And these kinds of things happen with some frequency. We certainly don’t inform the president on every one of them”.
Of course now that the damage is done and due to Meng’s prolonged deprivation of freedom, is still being done, whether Trump did or did not know of Meng’s extra-judicial kidnapping on the 1st of December is now reduced to something of an academic curiosity. Now that the entire world knows of Meng’s plight, the ultimate responsibility for the rectification of this grave situation lies with the US President whose government ordered Meng’s detention (with or without his initial knowledge).
Thus far, Bolton’s assessment of Meng’s detention is the only such statement offered from any prominent figure in the US government on the matter and most worryingly, far from expressing any diplomatic contrition, Bolton seems to be revelling in the fact that a wholly innocent woman has been deprived of her freedom. During the same interview, Bolton further stated,
“So not respecting this particular arrest, but Huawei is one company we’ve been concerned about. There are others as well. I think this is going to be a major subject of the negotiations that President Trump and President Xi Jinping agreed to in Buenos Aires”.
“I’d rather not get into the specifics of law enforcement matters. But we’ve had enormous concerns for years about the — in this country — about the practice of Chinese firms to use stolen American intellectual property, to engage in forced technology transfers, and to be used as arms of the Chinese government’s objectives in terms of information technology in particular”.
Therefore, one can conclude that if Bolton was if fact one of the highest level movers behind the plot against Meng, the motivation for the unilateral Canadian-US action against her was Washington’s attempt to stifle the growth and productivity of Huawei while also attempting to damage consumer confidence in the company. In many ways, the inverse effect has already been achieved as the vast majority of the world views Meng as an innocent woman arrested by Canadian authorities on US orders in what amounts to the first human casualty of the Trump trade war.
Even before Bolton uttered his callous statements regarding Meng, the prolonged detention of an innocent woman in the atmosphere of an increasingly manic trade war, indicated that this was an issue both for bilateral discussions between Beijing and Washington, but due to the uniquely cruel violation of Meng’s internationally codified human rights, it was and remains an issue that should be taken up by the United Nations Security Council. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has both a right and a duty to request a meeting to discuss Meng’s unjust imprisonment.
At the same time, all efforts at a bilateral level must be made to secure Meng’s release. In this respect, while China seeks to promote and achieve multilateral economic openness, because the US has (via Canada) applied viciously unlawful force against a prominent Chinese national from the business community, China would be perfectly within its rights to seize the property of US companies operating in China and/or requesting that US businessmen and women leave their jobs in China until such a time that Meng is released, the US and Canadian governments apologise to the Chinese people and to Meng personally and that both Washington and Ottawa offer Beijing a written guarantee that such an atrocity against human rights will not be conducted again in any way, shape or form.
Until such things happen, China must be willing to take all reasonably proportionate measures to achieve justice for Meng Wanzhou. Taking the matter to the UN Security Council is certainly one clear way to discuss the issue at the highest levels of international diplomacy.