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Karsten Riise

Master of Science (Econ) from Copenhagen Business School, University degree in Spanish Culture and Languages from University of Copenhagen

The “American Conservative” brings good piece, highlighting the problem, which the USA and Canada are creating with the obviously political arrest of Chinese mega-company Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.

The arrest of Chinese CFO Meng Wanzhou is alarming — for all the reasons mention in the “American Conservative” — but also for many more reasons:

1. The USA obviously throws all order aside, and goes down the path of political arrest “at-will”, without charge. In this case the arrest of a “foreigner” — perhaps even playing on being condoned (or even hailed?) by the US public at home by way of xenophobic US sentiments. This is dangerous land for all Americans indeed — both at home and abroad.

2. When US nationals start to get arrested “at-will” by governments abroad — a concurrent step will be foreign governments’ Confiscation of US foreign assets “at-will”. Such confiscations will not only be limited to physical assets like whole factories, but other governments may also “just” confiscate intellectual foreign property.

3. The USA shows itself as a non-reliable — irrational — international entity. No deal will ever hold with the USA. No arrangement will ever hold with the USA. No “mutual understanding” will ever hold with the USA. Nothing holds with the USA longer than a few minutes or up to a few weeks, months — mostly a few short years — until the next Twit.

4. Everybody will find it hard to believe the USA. Everybody will find it difficult to trust promises by the USA. In the end: Russia—China—Iran—North Korea — and now the EU — the whole world will now find it much better not to put too much trust in the USA, and make a safer choice to start protecting themselves.

Meng Wanzhou Case: Creating a Problem

The “American Conservative” brings good piece, highlighting the problem, which the USA and Canada are creating with the obviously political arrest of Chinese mega-company Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou.

The arrest of Chinese CFO Meng Wanzhou is alarming — for all the reasons mention in the “American Conservative” — but also for many more reasons:

First. The USA obviously throws all order aside, and goes down the path of political arrest “at-will”, without charge. In this case the arrest of a “foreigner” — perhaps even playing on being condoned (or even hailed?) by the US public at home by way of xenophobic US sentiments.

Igor Ivanov:
Road to Nowhere

The US-Canadian legal expedition into this wilderness will create many nasty outcomes:

(A) China will surely retaliate, arresting high-ranking US business nationals.

(B) Other nations — not only China or Russia, but also the Philippines, India, even France or Germany (what about the UK!) may start to arrest US nationals, when it suits them.

(C) When you can do it to foreigners, you can soon do it to your own nationals. When “foreigners” may be arrested politically without charge (or on just the figment of a charge) in USA—Canada — then after a short while, US-Canadians will also be arrested “at-will” even at home too!

This is dangerous land for all Americans indeed — both at home and abroad.

Second. When US nationals start to get arrested “at-will” by governments abroad — a concurrent step will be foreign governments’ Confiscation of US foreign assets “at-will”. Such confiscations will not only be limited to physical assets like whole factories, but other governments may also “just” confiscate intellectual foreign property.

Third. The USA shows itself as a non-reliable — irrational — international entity. No deal will ever hold with the USA. No arrangement will ever hold with the USA. No “mutual understanding” will ever hold with the USA. Nothing holds with the USA longer than a few minutes or up to a few weeks, months — mostly a few short years — until the next Twit.

Example1: Iran enters into a written done deal JCPOA with the USA. The next president simply annuls it. This is not just about the current administration — it’s a feature of US ways of dealing with the world. A president Hillary Clinton might have done the same. All signatures by the USA are written in a buck of water.

Example2: China under the current administration: Step one, the USA wants to break existing trade-relations. China then under pressure enters into a new “understanding” to avoid trade-conflict. Not even a couple of month pass, then the administration signals, that the done “understanding” is worth nothing. After more months of tensions, China enters a new “understanding” with the US (at G20, in Argentina). Only a few days more pass, and the USA breaks this “understanding again” by arranges the arrest a high-ranking Chinese business-official in Canada, on non-existing grounds.

Did I mention, that President Reagan signaled an “understanding” to Russia, that NATO would not be expanded eastwards? And especially, that previous Soviet states would not be let into NATO? That “understanding” was broken too.

This seems to be a deeply ingrained feature of US self-perception, how the US “understands” itself when dealing with “others”: The other party is by the USA expected to hold on to any deal with the USA forever — the USA itself, is in no way obligated by any deal, neither legally nor morally, which the USA enters into. Not only any next president can overturn done-deals - even a sitting president feels himself entitled to overturn any done-deal he/she has entered into himself/herself. This is a disdain for the rest of the world. The rest of the world are treated like just “Indians” (and believe me, I personally respect Indians, just like I respect all other ethnicities) who don’t count in the “white-American” governmental “we-rule-the-world” self-perception. Probably also Europeans don’t count — apparently, Russians also don’t seem to count as real deal-partners in the USA. Exactly like Washington in the 19th century entered into multiple — serial — “deals” with the Indians: The Indians were each and every time expected to obey by these deals — Washington itself, however, systematically broke each and every deal afterwards. Gaddafi in Libya, for all the bad, he had done, was told by the USA that all was settled and forgotten — only to experience, that he was just an “Indian” too. The rest of the world, to Washington — is sadly enough just perceived as inferior, as “Indians”.

The consequence is then:

Fourth. Everybody will find it hard to believe the USA. Everybody will find it difficult to trust promises by the USA. In the end: Russia—China—Iran—North Korea — and now the EU — the whole world will now find it much better not to put too much trust in the USA, and make a safer choice to start protecting themselves.

Meng Wanzhou Case — Even Worse Than Previously Anticipated

The Meng Wanzhou case was already a calamity — now it even turns worse for the USA, of what I anticipated.

The White House officially wants to use Meng Wanzhou as a “bargaining” chip with China — essentially she is a hostage.

That she was taken to put pressure on China in negotiations was evident from the beginning — but officially to use her that way, is diplomatically self-destructive. For qualified observers, it was never in doubt that her arrest was planned by the White House right from the beginning, that her arrest was not “just some officials” doing this. However, by the new White House statement, this becomes common knowledge — and the USA thereby further hurts its own reputation in the area of “moral”.

As mentioned, other countries have the option to use their legal systems to take US citizens hostage with doubtful charges.

Only three things impede other countries from arresting US citizens for bargaining-purposes: (1) That this is not something which “respectable” countries in the world community do — (2) doing so would mean retaliation by the US doing the same — (3) a country would lose business relations in the US, if doing so. Now, the US is itself undermining all three of these impediments. No, the USA will not start a war, if a US top-executive is now arrested abroad on “trumped” charges headlined as “tax-fraud”, or “giving misleading information”.

The charges against Meng Wanzhou on Iran info — true or untrue — is evidently “cooked up” — it’s political.

The type of charge formulated against Meng Wanzhou is also in itself an extremely hostile signal from the USA to the EU, Turkey and India:

“Deal with Iran, and the US becomes your enemy
— your EU business-executives (Mercedes-Benz, Siemens, Total, Finmeccanica, Airbus…) will be taken hostage, if they touch US ground or Canadian ground for just 30 minutes to change a flight... “

Why should any big European company, bank or industry deal on the New York Stock Exchange (the NYSE) when they can get arrested if they visit New York? Most big stock-floatings these days take place in Asia anyway, and it is much safer to float shares and do finance in Singapore, where executives do not risk to get arrested on “trumped” up charges. Even London City may profit at the expense of NYSE.

The USA is in different ways destroying its relationship with its now more and more former partners in the EU.

The USA is going “rogue”:

— plans and takes hostages for “bargaining”

— claims universal jurisdiction

— and the USA incurs the rest of the world to do the same.

Trust in the impartiality of the US legal system when doing business in the USA will evaporate.

Foreign business partners — Europe, Asia, Latin America — will take due notice. If the US hostage-taking this time was experienced as “successful” by the White House, the White House will definitely repeat it over-and-over again — that is how it works in the US. This is the motor-way to destroy the US economy — smashing US international business trust.

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