On Saturday evening, the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, where tech giant Huawei is headquartered, received a red carpet welcome for Meng, who arrived on a flight chartered by the Chinese government.
Dressed in red, Meng exited the plane without a face mask and waved to a crowd of more than 100 people, waving Chinese flags and shouting “Welcome home”.
“I’m finally back home!” Meng said in a brief speech to those gathered on the tarmac, expressing gratitude to his “great homeland,” the ruling Communist Party and, in particular, Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“President Xi cares about the safety of every Chinese citizen, and he also keeps my position in his mind. I am deeply impressed.”
Meng ended his speech by pledging allegiance to Xi and the party’s leadership and to his country.
“Where there is a Chinese flag, there is a ray of faith,” she said emotionally. “If faith has a colour, it must be China red.”
While Meng repeatedly referred to himself as “ordinary Chinese” in speeches, the grand reception for him was anything but ordinary.
Many called him a national hero, and praised his return as a symbol of China’s victory over the West.
The commentary called Meng’s case an act of “political persecution” by the US to “crack China’s high-tech enterprises” and stifle the country’s progress.
It says, ‘China does not create trouble, but it is not afraid of trouble either. “Not a single force can shake the status of our great motherland. Not a single force can stop China’s progress!”
The US case against Meng focused on whether he misled banking giant HSBC about Huawei’s ties with Iranian subsidiary Skycom, which the US alleges could put the bank at risk of breaching sanctions.
“In entering into the deferred prosecution agreement, Meng has assumed responsibility for his leading role in a plan to defraud a global financial institution,” Acting US Attorney Nicole Boeckman said in a statement Friday.
Also any mention of the release of two Canadians, Kovrig and Spavor, was conspicuously absent. Some social media posts about his fate were censored in China as well.
The two Michaels landed in Calgary, Alberta, just before 6 a.m. local time on Saturday, hours before Meng landed in Shenzhen. He was received on the tarmac by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Kovrig, an entrepreneur with business ties to North Korea and a former Canadian diplomat, was detained in China in December 2018 after Meng was arrested while changing planes in Vancouver.
Beijing has repeatedly denied taking the two Canadians as political hostages, but observers and legal experts outside China say the timing of their legal proceedings has suggested otherwise.
Their hearing – held separately behind closed doors in March – was announced a day before the first high-level meeting between US and Chinese officials since Joe Biden arrived in office. And in August, as Meng’s extradition hearing entered its final stages in Vancouver, Spavor was sentenced to 11 years in prison for espionage and illegally providing state secrets abroad. In the end, even their release was pushed aside just a few hours.
Granthshala’s Paula Newton, Steven Jiang and Claire Duffy contributed reporting.
Credit : www.cnn.com