(HUAWEI) – An op-ed by Emmanuel DUPUY, President of the Institute for Prospective and Security in Europe (IPSE). Visiting researcher at the Maritime Silk Road Institute in Ningbo.

The decision of the Canadian court of June 30, resulting in the continued detention of Meng Wanzhou, came to “shower” the real hopes of a release and de facto reintroducing the threat of an acceleration of the extradition process to the United States, of the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei technologies.

Back to a case that leaves little doubt as to an excessive politicization of this judicial file. Everything in this affair brings us back, in fact, to the geopolitical and geoeconomic context of the moment. In this case, in particular all the supporting documents, even if biased – as the evidence provided by the HSBC bank reminded us – brings us back to Washington. More precisely, to the principle of the extraterritoriality of the law, which wants it to be an American procedure that comes to govern the trial – yet on Canadian soil – indicting Meng Wanzhou!

By instrumentalizing this trial, for two years now, the United States intends to make life hard for a China, whose economic growth and the design of the second economic power aimed at “strategic parity” with the world’s largest economy. , annoys at the highest point. The president, Donal Trump had investigated – to charge – the lawsuit against the Chinese official, on the basis of accusation of illegal financial activities with Iran, with regard to the law of the other side of the Atlantic and the resumption of economic sanctions, financial and monetary policy with Iran in 2018. His successor, Joe Biden, despite a sincere desire to return to the negotiating table with Tehran, as evidenced by the talks initiated in Vienna since the beginning of the year, did not nonetheless remains braced on a strategy of ” containment ” in all directions vis-à-vis Beijing.

The latter two seem to have gone on a crusade, from the White House, against Chinese interests around the world, a fortiori, when these unfold under their noses. Since then, and since then, events have accelerated in Vancouver.

Let us return, however, to the beginning of this incredible affair …

We are the 1er December 2018. Meng Wanzhou, Chief Financial Officer, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Huawei Company – and, most notably, daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei – is arrested in Vancouver, Canada, at the “insistent” request of American justice.

The context of this highly publicized arrest also has its importance in the “scenography” desired and imposed by the United States. It was missing in this politico-judicial tangle, the two cards which wanted to be mistresses for Washington: it will be Iran for the prosecution and Great Britain, as ally of circumstance or rather of habit. Brexit will not in fine confirmed that Great Britain has always preferred the trans-Atlantic “open sea” to the European continental space and that London remains a useful screen on the American agenda, however oriented and instrumentalized.

Because, after all, what do we really blame the heiress of the Chinese telecommunications giant?

On the basis of the tax administration’s focus on Tehran, the United States resumed, in May 2018, its sanctions against Iran, in the light of the United States’ exit from the Common Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ) yet signed, on July 14, 2015, in Vienna, by the five members of the Security Council (United States, Great Britain, France, Russia, China) to which are added Germany and the EU with Iran , and this, to limit the nuclear military program of the latter.

In view of the numerous documents provided by the HSBC bank, it now appears more clearly that the financial activities envisaged, in Iran, between Huawei and the Skycom and Canicula companies, were not only known to the authorities of the bank based between Hong Kong and London, but that these were “covered” and assumed by these same banking authorities!

According to documents provided by the American accusing authorities, precisely the ” Record of the case ”(ROC), Meng Wanzhou would have been guilty of fraud, in view of the sanctions initiated by Washington vis-à-vis Tehran. We are, however, entitled to be cautious about this aspect of the accusation. The facts “incriminating” the heiress of the founder of the Chinese giant of telecommunications and information technologies go back, in fact, to August 2013, that is to say five years before the arrest of the latter, in Vancouver, in December 2018.

Eight years later, the current tenant of the White House, perhaps, should remember that he was vice-president of an Administration which prided itself on practicing Realpolitik, both vis-à-vis Tehran and Beijing. Unless the new American president seeks, in reality, to continue the instrumentalization of this trial initiated by his predecessor, as a means of pressure against Beijing?

Wasn’t this file, moreover, on the agenda of the stormy first diplomatic meeting between the American Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, the National Security Advisor of the White House, Jake Sullivan and their counterparts? Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi the head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Office on March 18 in Anchorage, Alaska?

Simple economic litigation entangled in a judicial imbroglio or diplomatic litigation instrumentalizing a Canadian legal system, doomed to respect a principle of extraterritoriality which burdens much more than the functioning of justice of a sovereign state, yet a direct neighbor of the United States?

These are, basically, the fundamental questions posed by this case, with regard to the right of a litigant, like any other, be it at the heart of a new geopolitical confrontation, which has as a new theater of conflict: cables digital submarines and data centers; and as weapons of today and tomorrow: big data and 5G?

The COVID-19 crisis has been particularly revealing of the uberization of our society and the digitization of our economies.

Make no mistake about it, indeed!

Faced with the urgent need for digital connectivity demanded by the development of the African continent, and that which underlies, in Europe, our “strategic autonomy” and the ardent need for digital independence, we must work with all the players in the sector. It is not by ostracizing one – through a court decision that questions – that we will achieve this.

This highly-publicized legal case is thus perfectly revealing of the way in which the international community seems to forget that it is on the European and African continents that the consequences of this deliberate focus on Huawei will be the most damaging.

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