Espionage or trade war

"If left unchecked, the latter might spiral out of control."



As the year was about to end, the international community was treated to what could be the biggest diplomatic crisis in recent years.

This was after the Canadian government ordered the arrest and detention of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou, a top executive with the Chinese tech company Huawei, an offshoot of an extradition request from the United States.

According to reports, Meng is wanted on charges of fraud, including the use of a Huawei subsidiary to conduct business with Iran, in violation of the sanctions the US had imposed on that country.

Further, her company is being accused of using its technology to provide intelligence report on the US to the Chinese government.

Upset over Meng’s arrest and detention, China threatened “revenge” and “unnecessary troubles” for Canada if it did not release the Chinese CFO. In fact, China has since arrested two Canadian nationals: entrepreneur Michael Spavor, and former diplomat Michael Korvig.

While, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland called the detention of Spavor and Korvig “arbitrary” as opposed to what she called Canada’s “fair, unbiased and transparent legal proceeding with respect to Meng,” even adding that Canada “respects its international legal commitments, including by honoring its extradition treaty with the United States,” Canada nevertheless relented, relesing Meng on a $10-million bail, with additional conditions that she live in one of her two Vancouver homes, restricted to that residence between the hours of 11pm and 6am local time, that she be monitored 24/7, that she surrender all of her passports, and that she wear an ankle bracelet around the clock. 

China reportedly has yet to respond to the Canadian government’s demand for the release of the two detained Canadians has the backing of both the US State Department and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs. 

However, an article published by Centre for Research on Globalization in its website, claims ther was more to the arrest and detention of Meng than the allegation of possible espionage and dealing with Iran.

Citing an exposè by the Australian Pres which it claims have been ignored by major media outfits, the article talks of a supposed meeting of the Five Eyes intelligence network with Prime Minister Trudeau at an undisclosed location in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia this past summer. 

It went on to say that “the intelligence chiefs spoke of threats coming from China. And since the meeting, the article continues, “there has been an unprecedented campaign to ban Huawei technology from the emerging 5G networks in the Five Eyes countries, namely Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.”

As stated earlier, “the argument is that Huawei would use advanced capabilities to provide intelligence to the Chinese government, making it a threat to national security.”

But then, independent sources add that the real reason behind the arrest and detention of Meng of Huawei is mainly due to the US losing out in 5G technology, thus the need to resort to foul tactics, but which has failed to stop Huawei from shipping 200-million units catapulting it to Number Two behind Samsung, and relegating US brand Apple to Number Three in the world market.

Making it worse is the inability of the US to tap their allies to stop patronizing the Chinese product.

And if these claims are true, then it is the US that is now bearing the brunt of the trade war it has called for against China and the arrest and detention of Meng might only be a façade for a far more deadlier attack, something the civilized world cannot afford.

If left unchecked, the US-led trade war against China might spiral out of control. And we’ll all end up losers.

The other day, the US Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory directing airlines going to the Philippines to alert their passengers on the deficiency of security measures at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

According to the advisory, the Manila International Airport Authority, which is in charge of NAIA, “does not maintain and carry out effective security consistent with the security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization.”

“In view of this finding and effective immediately, airlines issuing tickets for travel between the United States and MNL are directed to notify passengers in writing of this determination,” the DHS advisory said.

In response, the Department of Tourism issued a statement, saying that while the Philippine government respects the advisory, it nevertheless assures measures are being done to address the issue, and at the same time, guarantees the Philippines to be safe for both residents and visitors.

Following is the statement of the DOT:

The Department of Tourism respects the recent announcement of the United States Department Homeland Security and the findings of the Transportation Security Administration.

The management and security officers of the Manila International Airport Authority, together with the Department of Transportation under the leadership of Secretary Tugade, have committed to positively address this concern. We are confident in their capabilities to handle this issue and we are ready to help them in any way to expedite the resolution.

We are in close coordination with the Philippine National Police and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines tasked to oversee our aviation security.

Both agencies have repeatedly assured the DOT of the readiness to assess and respond to threats to ensure the safety and security of our tourists, both domestic and international.

With this, we assure the international community, that the Philippines remains a safe haven for our visitors and residents alike.

Topics: Charlie V. Manalo , Espionage or trade war , Sabrina Meng Wanzhou , China , Canada
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