Donald Trump to blame for Meng Wanzhou's ordeal
Anthony Moretti


Editor's note: Anthony Moretti is an associate professor at the Department of Communication and Organizational Leadership of Robert Morris University. The article reflects the author's views and not necessarily those of CGTN.

Meng Wanzhou is home. She should blame Donald Trump for the unnecessary and stressful ordeal she had to endure over the past couple of years.

To understand this disastrous geopolitical story, you need to remember several important points. 

First, Donald Trump hates China; that was clear when he was U.S. president and it continues today, though because he is no longer in the White House few people care about his nonsensical ramblings. Whether it was tariffs, his rhetoric about coronavirus, promoting the reckless "China Initiative" or seeking to deny Chinese students the chance to study in the U.S., Trump was a one-man wrecking crew when it came to undermining China-U.S. relations. 

Therefore, when Trump demanded his Department of Justice build a worthless case against Meng, no one should have doubted his real intent: He wanted to provide another example of his hatred of China. And because Meng was the Chief Financial Officer of a company he despised and the daughter of the company founder, she was the perfect pawn in his game. 

That brings us to the second point: Trump wanted to destroy Huawei. Trump fully embraced the idea that Huawei was a tool of the Chinese government, a multinational telecommunications powerhouse that was eager to spy on its customers and then share whatever data it had collected with Chinese government. In reality, Trump would not accept that Huawei created solid products that attracted many Western nations and customers. Instead, he saw deception where there was none. Trump undermined Huawei's ability to further develop and sell its cellphones by cutting off the supplies of chips and other software it had regularly purchased from American companies.

While Trump did not succeed in decimating Huawei, he did damage the company's short-term prospects and, perhaps more importantly, its international reputation. A top Huawei official admitted this week that fewer Huawei phones are on the market because of the various sanctions ordered by Trump. To date, U.S. President Joe Biden has not eased up on the sanctions. And keep it in mind that Trump caused the founder of Huawei many sleepless nights knowing his daughter remained under house arrest in Canada; the psychological toll this took on Meng and her father is something Trump would have enjoyed. 

Meng Wanzhou delivers a statement to the media as she exits provincial court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 24, 2021. /Getty

Meng Wanzhou delivers a statement to the media as she exits provincial court in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 24, 2021. /Getty

Third, for some inexplicable reason, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to be America's proxy in this bizarre situation. Chances are, it will be decades before the world learns why Trudeau - who appeared to dislike Trump - acquiesced to the idea of having Meng arrested while she was in Canada. That arrest led to roughly three years of efforts from her lawyers to fight Meng's extradition to the United States, where she would have faced charges of defrauding a major international bank. On September 24, she denied any guilt while accepting the U.S. case against her. Before the end of the day, she was on a plane heading to China. 

Fourth, President Biden wanted to end this fiasco. Biden may never be a friend of China, but he lacks the animus his predecessor had for the country. As a result, he recognized Meng's situation for what it was: Baloney. He is acting in this situation much like he is with the "China Initiative," which was Trump's hamfisted idea to arrest multiple Chinese scholars and accuse them of seeking to steal secrets from American companies. Using the levers of power available to him, Biden wants to eradicate many of the ridiculous policies Trump promoted; ensuring that Meng could go home is consistent with that effort.

Fifth, Canada's elections needed to be considered. You might recall that Canada held parliamentary elections just a few days ago, an election that led to Trudeau continuing as the nation's prime minister. The roughly six weeks of campaigning required no decision about Meng be announced; it is not possible to predict how such an announcement would have affected the Canadian elections. But no one should doubt that Trudeau's re-election immediately opened the door to end Meng's fight to be extradited.

The good news is Meng will soon be able to enjoy many days and nights with her family and friends. Credit Biden for recognizing it was time to make that happen. But also place blame for creating this mess at the feet of one person: Trump. 

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