Washington is accusing her of violating its unilateral sanctions against Iran by supposedly misleading international banks about her company's to the Islamic Republic, a charge that she and Huawei vehemently deny. This unprecedented imposition of extraterritoriality was known in advance by National Security Advisor John Bolton and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudaeu, though Trump claims that he wasn't informed about it, which is important because she was arrested on the same day as his dinner with President Xi after the G20 where both leaders agreed to a 90-day truce in their trade war.
It could be that he's lying and timed this provocation to coincide with his summit, or that hostile members of his permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracies (or "deep state") orchestrated this arrest to subvert his trade war truce with China, but whatever the truth may be, Mrs. Meng is basically being held hostage and her arrest was intended to send multiple messages to Beijing and the rest of the world. Firstly, the US — be it Trump, his "deep state", or a combination of both — are signaling that America is serious about enforcing its unilateral anti-Iranian sanctions regime and won't shy away from capturing so-called "big fish" through dramatic extraterritorial means if need be. Secondly, it's proven that it's capable of hegemonically pressuring its allies to comply with its demands, thus extending the geographic net of its extraterritoriality.
In addition, it can't be overlooked that Huawei is a global technology leader and the only real rival anywhere in the world to Apple, so capturing Mrs. Meng could have been intended to intimidate this American company's chief competitor. After all, the US could have just tried to impose primary or "secondary sanctions" against Huawei if it wanted to punish it for supposedly breaking Washington's unilateral anti-Iranian sanctions regime, but members of its security services clearly thought that it would be much more effective to detain one of the company's leading individuals in a third-party state. It's for this reason why many suspect that the US has ulterior motives for capturing Mrs. Meng, hence why some are referring to her as a de-facto hostage of the trade war.
Andrew Korybko is joined by Adam Garrie, Director of Eurasia Future and Christopher Black, international criminal lawyer with 20 years of experience in war crimes and international relations, and a commentator on international affairs.
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