Canada arrested one of the most prominent business figures in China, on the request of an arrest warrant issued by the US. The document accuses her of violating US laws in relation to sanctions against Iran. The charge at first glance appeared incongruous, given that it wasn’t a case of a serious criminal offence like stock market fraud, criminal embezzlement of money against registered companies in the US, espionage, physical assault, etc.
To arrest one of the most influential investors of a global superpower for sanctions of violation against another country just doesn’t seem to be an action that will be dealt with outside of diplomatic circles. But Canada did arrest her. She was on remand. She is bailed and has to wear an electronic device.
What was Canada’s response? It was simple and straightforward. It wasn’t an act of government. The Canadian government does not interfere with judicial proceedings. On the surface, this explanation looks plausible. But if a top entrepreneur from a superpower, not an obscure nation, is locked up in Canada and it has consequences for global relations, then the government of Canada has to take an interest. No judicial proceeding in any country takes precedence over national security. But Canada stuck to its position – this is not a government to government imbroglio; the US had an international arrest warrant out for the lady and Canada complied with international treaties.
Last Wednesday, the Chinese Ambassador in a strongly worded column in a Canadian newspaper, given front-page coverage in the globally influential newspaper of the UK, the Guardian, accused Canada of white supremacy. He observed that Canada is calling on China to release two White Canadians, as if there is no law in China so the government could just release the men. He said it is double standards. Two white persons are more valuable than a Chinese woman.
Does the Ambassador have a point? Let’s see. Canada says it cannot interfere with the judicial system. Could and should the Chinese government interfere with their judicial authorities and order the release of the two accused? The Ambassador’s tone was trenchant. He reminded Canada that the lady violated no Canadian law.
What about the accusation of white supremacy? There are a number of politicians from Africa that have been cited for crimes against humanity and are charged before the International Tribunal. But the US lawmakers have refused to recognize this court. Why has the court not taken a look at similar accusations against Israel? Except for Serbia, only African politicians have been hauled before the court. There have been accusations that certain Sri Lankan officials during the Tamils’ secession war committed war crimes. Are there white leaders who have committed crimes against humanity?
But let’s take the Chinese charge of white supremacy to another dimension. There is this tantalizing question – would Canada have arrested a white American, a white Briton, a white Frenchman, if the warrant was issued by say, Jamaica, or Tanzania or Fiji? These are questions that Third World and non-white people must reflect on as the world’s growing racial intolerance intensifies and racist populist government increases in Europe.
In my column of Saturday, September 29, 2018 captioned, “Ugly racist incident ushers in an ugly racist future,” I wrote, “Three Chinese tourists – a man and his elderly parents arrived from China at the Swedish hotel hours before their paid reservation began. They then asked hotel management to let them spend the remaining hours in the lobby. In the hospitality industry, such a request is met with a commonsensical approval in any part of the world.
Swedish management disallowed the Chinese tourists to remain in the lobby until it was time to check in. The Chinese refused to leave. The police were called in. The tourists were ejected and the police forcefully took them some distance away from the hotel to a deserted section next to a cemetery. It is my inflexible opinion that if those three persons were White Americans or White Germans or White anything, the hotel would not have acted so insensitively.”
President Trump demanded that an American evangelist arrested in Turkey be immediately released or sanctions would be imposed. Weeks after, Turkey freed him. Would the US free a Guatemalan if the Central American country demands his release? Read the op-ed piece by the Chinese Ambassador and reflect on his charge of white supremacy. You can peruse it on the online edition of a very fine newspaper – the Guardian.
Those who are pushing for copyright law here need to make the Ambassador’s piece compulsory reading. It should open their eyes as to how nations see their own interests.
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