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Hostages on both sides of the Pacific

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Even if the American request for the arrest and extradition of Sabrina a.k.a. Cathy Mèng Wǎnzhōu 孟晚舟 was not intended as a political act, it has become one. Reuters reports:

When asked if he would intervene with the Justice Department in her case, Trump said in an interview with Reuters: “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.”

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said.

This is getting nasty.

Meanwhile, Meng has been released on bail on the condition that she stay in Vancouver and submit to various forms of surveillance. See Vancouver-based Michael Mui’s tweets for details.

China’s retaliation — the arrest of former Canadian diplomat and analyst for NGO International Crisis Group — is now official:

  • “China said a former Canadian diplomat detained in Beijing is working for an organization that is not legally registered and he may have broken China’s foreign non-governmental organization (NGO) law,” reports the Straits Times.
  • “The International Crisis Group said on Wednesday that it had received no information from Chinese officials on the detention of its employee, former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig,” reports Reuters.
  • China has played this kind of tit-for-tat before: See, for example, this excerpt from a New York Times article: The foreign billionaires, activists and missionaries detained in China (porous paywall):

Missionaries. Corporate investigators. Billionaires. Legal activists…

China has a long history of arresting or holding foreigners for mysterious reasons…

Here are some recent cases of foreigners caught in the cross hairs of China’s opaque legal system.

Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.

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