Hello, welcome to the China Angle. I’m Simone Gao. In just under two years, China’s relationship has grown sour with Canada. In that time, several Canadian citizens have been sentenced to death over drug related charges. Is China finally taking steps to help crack down on international drug trade, or is China taking revenge on Canada for not kowtowing to the communist regime? What are the implications for the safety of the United States, and the Western world in general? We’ll go into this and more in today’s China Angle.
Last week, China sentenced two more Canadians to death. Since 2019, China has sentenced 4 Canadians to death in total, all on drug related charges. Let’s quickly review who they are, and what they were charged for.
On August 7th, China sentenced Ye Jianhui to death for manufacturing and transporting drugs. The court did not release specific details on what drugs or how much was made.
One day earlier, China sentenced Canadian citizen Xu Weihong to death, the court similarly gave no details. However, local media said Xu had gathered ingredients and tools to make ketamine in October 2016. He produced and stored the product in his house. Reports said that police confiscated 265 pounds of ketamine.
On April 30, China sentenced Canadian defendant Fan Wei to death. He allegedly manufactured and sold more than 140 pounds of methamphetamine between July and November 2012.
An online court statement said, in the same case, a U.S. citizen identified as Mark, as well as four Mexicans—Lyon, Pedro, Oscar, and Carrett—were given suspended death sentences or life in prison.
And finally, China sentenced Canadian citizen Robert Schellenberg to death on January 14th, 2019. He was accused of attempting to smuggle 485 pounds of methamphetamine from China to Australia in 2014. He appealed his case in December 2019, but court ordered a retrial, which lasted only 1 day. His sentence was changed from 15 years in prison to death.
So, we can see that China has taken a clear stance on cracking down on Canadians involved in the drug trade. But what triggered all these drug related arrests? One thing to keep in mind is that, just before the harsh sentencing began, Canada arrested a Chinese citizen on December 1st, 2018. Not just any citizen, but the CFO of one of China’s largest tech companies. That company is Huawei, and the person is Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the company’s founder.
Huawei is one of the largest producers of smartphones and network equipment. It is also a pet company of the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP. It’s worth noting that the United States blacklisted Huawei in May 2019 for security concerns. The US has also encouraged Western nations to avoid accepting new 5G technology from Huawei for similar security concerns. Just recently, on August 7th, the tech-giant has stated that it can no longer procure chips for its high-end smartphones. U.S. sanctions forbade companies from selling these chips to Huawei that’s used to make those phones. 50% of Huawei’s entire revenue comes from consumer products such as smartphones and computers. This sanction is a half death sentence to Huawei.
What did the Communist Regime do in response? On Huawei’s case, they didn’t do anything. The CCP recently put sanctions on 11 American officials including lawmaker Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. That is a supposed direct retaliation against the US sanctions of the Chinese officials who played roles in human rights abuses in XinJiang and Hong Kong.
But those sanctions against the American officials really don’t mean anything since these people do not have assets or bank accounts in China nor do their families go to China for education or business. The punishment is for show only.
But the CCP’s retaliation against Canada is different. Here is what they did after Meng Wanzhou was arrested.
After Meng was arrested in Canada, the United States requested her extradition. The reason is she allegedly violated sanctions on doing business with Iran. Huawei actively worked to cover-up these connections, according to internal documents leaked in June. Meng has been under house arrest in Canada since then. In May, Canadian courts denied her bid for freedom, and decided to continue the extradition case.
After her arrest, China demanded her release. The CCP also warned Canada of “serious consequences” if she was not released.
What serious consequences? Just over one week after Meng’s arrest, China initiated its revenge by arresting two Canadians inside China, named Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. In the following months, the CCP began restricting Canadian imports to China. One telling import was Canola oil, as China is the largest consumer of Canola oil. Other Canadian agricultural products began running into issues as well, like peas, soybeans, and pork. Meanwhile, we started to see more Canadian citizens were accused of spying activities or sentenced to death for drug dealings in China.
This is not to say, these Canadians must be innocent, but their alleged crimes were certainly used by the CCP to punish and tame the Canadian government . Even the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said so. On June 22, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “stop making irresponsible remarks”. This came after Trudeau said Beijing’s decision to charge two canadian citizens with spying was linked to Canada’s arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou.
Here, we are not suggesting the CCP is treating America better than Canada. Not at all. The Chinese Communist Party views America as its No. 1 enemy. But when they know they can not threaten and tame president Trump, they choose another way to compromise America. They waged a drug war against America: One of the biggest players in the United State’s opioid epidemic is China.
For most companies that are able to produce medicines, they can also produce illicit drugs. That includes both precursors and final products. We all know that China is dominant in making chemical precursors to all sorts of medicines. The pandemic has pointed out that reality. In fact, the Chinese regime has been working with cartels in Mexico and South America to sell illicit drugs to buyers inside the United States. According to former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration Derek Maltz, “Clearly the Chinese are way more dangerous, way more sophisticated, way more complex, and way more of a national security threat to America—it’s not even a comparison [with Mexican cartels],”
As far as illicit drugs go, China may be best known for its fentanyl production and distribution. Fentanyl is a highly potent, synthetic opioid. It can be 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin. It is cheap to make, and just two milligrams can be fatal. Chinese producers have sent fentanyl to the United States directly by mail. Of course, Mexican cartels can produce fentanyl too. However, these cartels still highly rely on Chinese precursors. The Mexican cartels also distribute for China. In August 2019, the Mexican navy intercepted a 25-ton shipload of fentanyl originating from China and bound for Culiacán, Sinaloa—the home base of the Sinaloa cartel in Mexico.
There is also methamphetamine. In 90’s and 2000’s, China was already setting up large-scale imports of chemicals to Mexican drug cartels, according to Maltz. One Chinese importer was arrested in Maryland in 2007. 205 million dollars in cash was found in his residence, a scene that most would only imagine on television. Maltz emphasized that the man was just an individual case, and he earned this money only through chemical sales, not finished products. That is to say, there may be even worse offenders out there.
Coincidentally, drug warfare is one of China’s espoused methods of subverting a nation without fighting. Two Chinese colonels outlined this in a military treatise called Unrestricted Warfare. So, that is to say, China experienced the Opium Wars in the past, and it is well in the process of facilitating a new one in the West.
That brings us back to the main topic: if drug charges were really at the heart of these Canadians being sentenced to death, why would China also allow so many fentanyl and meth producers to poison the United States? The regime has the power to clamp down and eliminate most anyone it wants inside its borders, as evidenced in Tibet and Xinjiang. So why not systematically remove the drug makers? Is it because some of them are helping the CCP achieve its goals of ruining the United States?
Let’s go back to Canada. I believe it is crucial for Canada to see the Chinese Communist Party as is. As suggested in the book unrestricted warfare, there is really nothing off the limit for the regime. When the current Chinese leader abandoned his predecessor Deng Xiaoping ‘s strategy: hide our capabilities and bide our time. There are really only two ways left in terms of how the Party acts. To enemies who are more powerful than China, they wage covert wars to grind it down internally. For countries who are weaker than China, the CCP openly harass and bully them if they don’t toe the party line. Freedom is at risk. This has been the China Angle, I’m Simone Gao, thanks for watching, and see you next time.
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