Possible American Hostages in China

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryThe United States has made a formal request under an extradition treaty with Canada for Huawei Technologies Corporation Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. Wanzhou has been accused of transferring technology and finances to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. She was arrested in Canada, and is out on bail pending both trial in Canada and possible extradition to the United States. In retaliation for Canada holding Wanzhou, the Chinese government is holding two Canadians in detention. There is no doubt that the two Canadians being held in detention, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, are being held in China in retaliation for Canada holding Wanzhou.

The real danger is that China might now up the pressure against both the United States and Canada by possibly arresting Americans in China and using them as bargaining chips. The U.S. State Department has warned Americans about travel to China, and to be especially careful about arbitrary detention. The term “arbitrary” is correct. What exactly will stop the Chinese government from seizing any American in China? We have seen that Russia has no qualms about seizing any American who simply visits that country in exchange for one of its spies, so couldn’t China do the same? The Chinese government has totally condemned the United States for wanting Wanzhou extradited, and the best way to prevent this is to take an innocent American hostage and charge them with a crime. In this regards, the stakes could not be higher for China on the one hand and Canada and the United States on the other. I am wondering if the U.S. government is keeping this possible scenario in mind?

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