Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearings have thrown fuel onto western Canada’s already raging anti-Chinese inferno. The trial of the head of China’s greatest tech giant hits all the notes of Sinophobic western chauvinism. As reporters salivate over her shoes, Meng Wanzhou herself is fitted to the western stereotype of the “crazy rich Asian.” Behind the orientalist imagery looms Meng’s company, Huawei, which is the 5G tech corporation that, according to US and Canadian military organizations, is a threat to Euro-American dominance over technological and communications infrastructure globally.
Huawei’s role in Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” strategy to develop Chinese shipping routes, tech and communications infrastructure, and manufacturing and resource extraction development challenges the “soft power” role that the US, and to a lesser degree, the EU, has comfortably dominated for decades.
Meng Wanzhou’s trial has been individualized and decontextualized from the global power matrix that compels it. Canada arrested Meng Wazhou for violating US sanctions against Iran; her detention and extradition represents Canada’s bloc with the US on the global stage and their joint, direct, carceral counter attack against the growing presence of Chinese corporations in the Middle East and North Africa.
Meng herself has ties to the Communist Party of China. This “private public partnership” with Chinese characteristics fulfills the white supremacist panic about China’s threat to the liberal world order, and its accompanying nostaliga for a world ‘stabilized’ through US hegemony, including with warfare where necessary.
At the centre of Canada’s arrest and potential extradition of Meng Wanzhou is the question of the durability of Euro-American global hegemony, and the response of this bloc to China’s rising power.
We say that sanctions on Iran are an act of war and that Canada’s arrest and extradition of Meng Wanzhou shows that Canada is joining arms with the US in defence of its empire. This ‘old power’ Canada-US-EU bloc is taking up diplomatic, economic, and legal warfare techniques against China through the person of Meng Wanzhou.
War is the continuation of politics by other means, and the politics of Meng Wanzhou’s extradition is a prelude to war. We are rallying against war with China, against war with Iran, and against the racist, Canadian chauvinist politics on display around Meng Wanzhou’s extradition hearings.