Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested in China in December 2018, shortly after Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, on a U.S. extradition request. Many countries labeled China’s action “hostage politics.”
The deal was reached as President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have sought to tamp down signs of public tension — even as the world’s two dominant economies are at odds on issues as diverse as cybersecurity, climate change, human rights and trade and tariffs.
President Biden said in an address before the U.N. General Assembly earlier this week that he had no intention of starting a “new Cold War,” while Xi told world leaders that disputes among countries “need to be handled through dialogue and cooperation.”
Two Canadians detained in China on spying charges have been released from prison and flown out of the country. Clearly this is a cold war type of action reminiscent with the old Soviet way of doing things. Kovrig and Spavor simply became pawns in a game of political brinkmanship. Both of them are likely in need of some serious psychological treatment after spending 3 years in a political prison. PTSD can be very damaging to a person.
Spavor and Kovrig boarded their flight about 7:30 p.m. ET, Trudeau said. They are being accompanied by Dominic Barton, Canada’s ambassador to China. Shortly afterwards Meng Wanzhou boarded an Air China flight bound for the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Both are likely to be in their respective airports in the Canadian late morning as the flight does take many hours. China is several hours on the other side of the date line so it will be midnight when Meng hits the tarmac.
I can also see confidently that this action will likely hurt the lobby to rescind the countervail tariffs imposed by the Trump regime. The tariffs are broadly based and US corporate lobby backed the tariffs. Story like this could lead to a great action game being stuck in a foreign nation of hostiles.
Huawei is now a pariah corporation who is under sanctions that will not be rescinded. They broke the law and are being published for it. Taking hostages only makes it worse.