Analysis: A dangerous new era of superpower confrontation was signaled this weekend

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The speedy release of two Canadians after a diplomatic deal ended a standoff over Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who faces extradition from Canada to the US, is a disturbing sign of a new era of superpower confrontation.

Canadians were arrested on espionage charges in China shortly after Meng was detained in Vancouver in December 2018. He was killed on charges of fraud on a US warrant for alleged violation of US sanctions against Iran.

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As part of a complicated deal with US officials to postpone prosecution – in which Meng pleaded not guilty but confirmed that he misrepresented Huawei’s ties with the Iranian subsidiary – Meng had to Placed under house arrest and returned to China to welcome a hero.

The crisis denial did little to dispel the notion that the Canadians were arrested, so that despite Beijing’s repeated denials that the cases were related, they could be used by China as bargaining chips. could. (Chinese state media reports that they were both released on bail for medical reasons after admitting to the crimes in a “handwritten confession”—but there has been no indication from the Canadian government that the men pled guilty.)


And Meng’s welcome home – draped in nationalism and used as a propaganda tool to glorify President Xi Jinping – underscored how his nationalist government quelled disputes with other countries by rivals China for global power. as an attempt to test the correct growth of

To be fair, then-President Donald Trump didn’t help the situation while in office. At times, he played into China’s claims that Meng’s arrest was a political move, which meant it could use him to advantage as he sought to strike a trade deal with Beijing.

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But Beijing’s message is clear. There will be consequences if Chinese companies violate the Western legal system. This means governments must now balance the unpleasant prospect of offering impunity to China’s vast business interests against the risk of exposing their own citizens to retaliation in China.

It is a scenario that could cool trade, cultural, media and personal exchanges between the US and China and deepen a dangerous Cold War mentality.


The Republican Party is not the biggest obstacle to US President Joe Biden’s ambitious plan to rebuild the American economy and welfare state. It’s his own.
Democratic moderates and progressives have hit a “stagnation” on the cost, scope and even timing of the two priorities that will define his domestic legacy, Biden acknowledged Friday. They include a $1 trillion infrastructure deal with Republicans and a $3.5 trillion plan to fight global warming, health care, education, and home care for sick and elderly Americans.

Simply put, progressive Democrats in the House say they will not vote for an infrastructure bill until party leaders sign off on the spending plan. But moderates in the House and Senate fear the country will rebel against such leniency and want a cut in the price and ambition of the package. Progressives respond that $3.5 trillion is already a deal because they wanted $6 trillion, although they haven’t gathered a congressional majority that would show most Americans want that kind of massive spending.

It seems unbelievable that Democrats could effectively strangle Biden’s presidency. But while both sides are working hard as to the crucial legislative deadline, it remains a possibility. The controversy shows that the spirit of compromise, on which the entire American political system rests, is not only almost extinct among Republicans and Democrats, but is also declining on the left.

Progressives believe they may have a short window on Democratic power to go big on reform. Many moderates fear that spending so much money will cost them their seats. Biden skillfully stepped into both camps when building the coalition that would take the White House. But now, when he is trying to bring the two sides together in a deal, his claim to be the final fixer of Congress is on the line.


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