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China sentences Canadian man to death in drug case linked to Huawei row (washingtonpost.com)
163 points by adventured 33 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 208 comments



At this point I think I'm too afraid to ever go to China. You can't get justice there, and you can be swept up into some stupid diplomatic spat.

Don't they realize how short-sighted this is? This is incredibly harmful to tourism.


He was already a convicted drug trafficker. I don’t see any indication that his original 15-year sentence was improper. It is possible that he was falsely convicted, of course, but I don’t know that this is more likely in China than elsewhere.

Suddenly changing his sentence to death is rather suspicious, but at least for me it doesn’t make a huge difference compared to a 15-year sentence.

Random anecdote: I just got back to the US from several weeks in China. By far the most uncomfortable and worrying law-enforcement interaction of the trip was going through US immigration control on the way back.


Either China is doing this so they can have something to retreat on that seems gracious and careful (i.e., it's a complete ploy) or they're completely misreading Canadian sentiment. Canadians tend to give and give and bend and bend, but it really comes to it they snap in a way that I don't think the Chinese understand.

We have way more leverage over China than they have over us. We sell them commodities. They sell us electronics. You know what's the one good thing about commodity sales? Fungibility. If we start banning Chinese phones we'll buy American ones come in instead. If they ban Canadian grain it will be less efficient, but the world will shift around and that grain will be sold to someone. If they ban our wood, it will be less efficient, but we can make our own furniture or sell wood to Europe to replace the wood China is buying from elsewhere.

And if push every really came to shove there is a lot of Chinese owned property in Canada. Foreign ownership taxes can go way, way up.

It's a complete misread of the situation by them. We have extradition treaties with the USA. Our society runs via a rule of law. They're going to turn the entire Canadian business and political community against them if they keep this up. Take it up with the Americans for fucks sake. Even Maxime Bernier has walked back his pledge for a Chinese-Canadian trade agreement.


>If we start banning Chinese phones we'll buy American ones come in instead.

Huh? America doesn't make any phones, and worse, simply does not even have the technology to make phones if they wanted to. America does not have the technology needed to make the screens for them, most notably: the screen technology is all in Asia.


Isn't a good portion of screen technology in Sourth Korea though, which is more of a US ally than a Chinese one?


Yes. Samsung and LG are the top screen manufacturers.


I'm not unaware that iPhones are physically constructed in China. If we had tariffs on Chinese phones only a small portion of the tariff would fall on the overall cost of an iPhone.


It doesn't have the technology or the manufacturing capability?


Neither. The technology is made in China or Korea, and owned by the Koreans. We couldn't build modern smartphone screens in the US without doing serious industrial espionage on our own ally, and even then setting up the manufacturing capability would cost billions, if we could get it working and not have a problem like the "capacitor plague" that happened when the Chinese tried stealing Japanese capacitor formulae back in the late 90s or early 2000s and didn't quite get it right.


Apple owns the patents for it's phones. Right? They are just manufactured by foxconn (Taiwanese).

Samsung is a Korean company.


This almost certainly has nothing to do with changing Canadian behavior, it's about domestic politics. Canada/USA kicked one of ours, so we're going to kick 20 of theirs. They need to be seen to be doing it. The fact that it won't work and is counterproductive doesn't matter.


> This almost certainly has nothing to do with changing Canadian behavior, it's about domestic politics. Canada/USA kicked one of ours, so we're going to kick 20 of theirs. They need to be seen to be doing it. The fact that it won't work and is counterproductive doesn't matter.

Is CCTV or other state-run outlets making a big deal about this death sentence and the other Canadian arrests? Is it portraying them as retaliation?


It doesn't have to.

Did anyone need to tell anyone on HN that it was retaliation?

I've been saying this since they first arrested the Huawei lady, everyone is an outlaw right now. There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of laws on the books in most nations. (Especially China and the US.) There is just no way that a regular person with no resources can be certain that he or she is not in violation of one of them. (In fact, it's a virtual certainty that we all are in violation of some law.) So we can be legally arrested for the violation of laws we were likely unaware of at any time. (Not that the subject of the article was unaware of the criminal nature of his actions.)

Point being, if you are not a bigshot with a lot of clout, I would strongly urge you to urgently consider business models that allow you to operate at a distance from Asia. You don't want to be the pathetic slob of a patsy sitting in an Asian prison for 15 years because China and the US want to have some stupid argument to see who has the biggest breasts. It's just not worth it.

(BTW, the same goes for the average Chinese person by the way. I'd strongly urge you to do business at a distance from North America. There's no since in spending the rest of your youth learning street slang in an American prison.)


> Take it up with the Americans for fucks sake.

Look I am no big fan of the Chinese political engine, but maybe Canada overstepped. The arrest of the CFO can be seen as highly political motivated, and now China is showing Canada that it too can do the same thing and arrest citizens of other countries (maybe even on flimsy grounds) or in this case use it's legal system to pressure and manipulate international relationships.

Canada got stuck in the middle (as many countries do when they do the bidding of the US) and have now got a slap on the wrist.


Let me try to make this as clear as I can:

Canada operates on the rule of law.

Rule of law.

Rule of law.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law

When the fucking Queen of England had a minor medical issue and was bumped in priority in the hospital she was in it was fucking news with journalists asking how this list was overseen. Our own head of state made the news because she got bumped in our hospitals.

When the Americans do a request like this it doesn't go through our political arm. It goes through our civil service and our courts. We don't have random people with the random power to bend the law. We set law and judges enforce it. Some laws we have are very flexible, like the ones we have for CSIS, etc. But we don't politick extradition.


Are you sure you're not being too trusting to your country? Are you 100% sure nothing happens "behind the scenes"?


>If we start banning Chinese phones we'll buy American ones come in instead.

Which American phones are these? The iPhone isn't made in the US, it's made by Foxconn.


Foxconn is Taiwanese not Chinese. Most of their manufacturing is in China so I'm not sure how much that distinction matters in this scenario but I thought it helpful to clarify.


Note that, as far as China is concerned, Taiwan is a part of China. So from their perspective that is even less of a useful distiction.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-China_policy


It's a very useful distinction because de facto Taiwan is not part of China.


tell that to a Taiwanese. They are not going to like you


Most of the IP/software and profit in an iPhone comes from and goes to a US company. Most of the components in an iPhone aren’t from China (nor the USA). Yes, it is assembled in China, but it isn’t accurate to say it is a Chinese product.


There's not much you can do with the IP if China stops being willing to make the product for you. (Unless the IP is so far ahead of the competition you can sell it, but Chinese phone manufacturers are making phones that are very competitive with iPhones.)


Even the Chinese phone manufacturers rely on American software (Android), even if Google gives that away.

If China refused to assemble iPhones for Apple, that assembly could easily be shifted somewhere else: the components are mostly not from China and even the machinery used to assemble the iPhones is mostly German. Apple/Foxconn do it in China because it is the best deal ATM, and shift iPhone assembly around as needed easily (eg iPhones are assembled in Brazil, and will be in India to get around tariffs).


Nokia duh...


R&D + production done by Foxconn

HMD it's just sales department slapping Nokia sticker on Foxconn phones


I’ve always had a pleasant experience returning home. I travel 200 days in a year and never have I had a bad experience during US Immigration. In fact, I look forward to “Welcome home” from an officer although now it’s more expedited with the automated passport control and they hardly take more than 20 seconds to let you go.

I am curious of your bad experience, can you tell us more?

Edit: I do not look like a typical US Citizen.

Edit: Tangentially, I have also had great experience with American police. I’ve been pulled over a few times and the officers always have a calm demeanor with utmost level of professionalism. The narrative of US authorities mishaving happens in headline cases, not to vast number of people.


Weird. I have never had a pleasant experience with US customs. They are usually not unpleasant either, but they’re never friendly or even more than vaguely polite.

(I say “usually” because my wife was once told off quite rudely when she went through the visitors line as a permanent resident, because she wanted to help and translate for visiting family members she was with.)

The worst part of the experience is knowing they will not hesitate to fuck me over if they decide they want to, and I have little recourse. They can’t keep me out of the country, but they can screw me up for hours or days if they want. They can keep my wife out of the country arbitrarily, and the only fix there would be a lengthy and expensive legal process with no guarantee of success.

It’s minor compared to the hypothetical example of being imprisoned or executed on false drug charges, but my point isn’t that US immigration isn’t equivalently bad, but that I felt and experienced no menace whatsoever from Chinese law enforcement.


I've been through many times as white British person (both as a visitor and on various visas) and have never had a bad experience. I'm not denying that people do have bad experiences. But I find it kind of hard to believe that as a US citizen, you've never once had an experience of re-entering the country that didn't involve the customs agent asking you a couple of simple questions and then sending you on your way.


I'm a US citizen living abroad, and when I flew into Newark once, an agent turned me away because I could not give him an address for where I was staying, since my mother had just moved. I believe his words were "no, no, no, I can't deal with this right now" and he yelled at me when I tried to explain. There was literally nowhere else for me to go.

After walking around flustered, I decided to try another kiosk and that guy let me through. That's how stupid and arbitrary the process can be for an arriving citizen.


Yikes. Just FYI in case it’s useful in the future, as a US citizen you have an absolute right to enter the country. They cannot keep you out, period. They can cause you a great deal of trouble first, but they can’t outright turn you away. Hopefully you never have occasion to use this knowledge!


Customs agents everywhere freak out if you don't have $INFORMATION to hand. That's not something unique to the USA. If you travel a lot, you learn to have this sort of information readily available whenever you cross a border.


That is exactly what the experience is most of the time. It’s unpleasant because they’re not nice and they have way too much power, but it’s not a big deal. Again, my point is not that it’s completely awful, but rather that this minor unpleasantness still manages to be the worst thing on these trips.


I guess I don't understand what level of "niceness" you're expecting. Most of the time they've been friendly and polite (to me). Given that they're humans doing a basically crappy job, I don't expect any more than that.


Friendly and polite would be nice. I don’t think I’ve ever had that from US immigration, although it’s the norm elsewhere.


I guess there's not much point in just trading anecdotes, but that's really not my experience. I've generally found US customs to be friendlier than British customs, for example (and I'm British).


I get more polite service from minimum wage workers at Burger King or a regional grocery chain.


Since they have to let US citizens in, you likely don’t have to answer questions unrelated to the goods you’re bringing back.

But the pressure is obviously there to answer anyway.


They have to let US citizens in, but they can detain you for a reasonable amount of time while they investigate you, which could be days. They also don’t have to let your stuff in. If you don’t answer their questions, you are very likely to get into the country late and without your possessions, so only do this as a last resort.

(This is in contrast to interacting with police within the country, where they can’t search your stuff against your will or hold you without probable cause, and not answering questions is a good default.)


Curious...is your wife from a country that is not on good relations with USA? Have you traveled to the likes of Iran, Syria etc? Do you think your name has the equivalent of an asterik next to it?

They have so many people to process that unless you "piss them off" (as judged by them) and you are a US citizen with all docs in order they don't usually pick on people.


She is from China, hence all of my trips there. I don’t think I set off any red flags. I know they don’t usually pick on people, and haven’t picked on me or my family aside from that one incident, but the odds of being picked on by USCIS are way higher than the odds of being picked on by Chinese police as a foreign tourist.


I got searched a lot by customs in Seattle on my trips from Beijing when I started working there. I think they were looking for pirated DVDs or something; joke was on them since my bag was always mostly empty coming to the USA (I would fill it up coming back since shopping in the states was much cheaper than in China). They weren’t rude though, I found it just annoying to be searched.

Chinese police...well, I mean, there is crap you have to put up with as a foreigner. Finding the right amount of paper work to register at the local PSB (and sometimes needing to drag your landlord along), and having to re-register after a foreign trip. Then the random checks when they come to your apartment to check your paper work... Chinese police aren’t bad by any means, but if you are a foreigner living in China, there will be some friction.


Maybe it is different when you don't _look_ like you're a US citizen.


I look very close to an Arab person than I look like a typical US Citizen. My friends joke if I should get rid of my facial hair for the expediency of immigration. I’ve always been treated well and this goes for vast number of Americans and Foreigners that enter US.


Arab people look very close to "white" people, and even more so these days since almost all American men have decided to wear giant, fuzzy beards.


How does a US citizen _look_? Last I checked we were an incredibly diverse nation.


Well, I meant what they think a US citizen would look like. For example, if you look Asian, you might still be a US citizen but more likely they'd treat you differently.

I'm saying this as someone who is married to a Mexican and crosses the US border by car. In general the experiences have been good by the way - just not all the time.

I'm just saying that it could be influenced by the way you look.


(not big in American ethnicity but)

I think his point is that "looking like a US citizen" is basically either being European, native American or African American. Which I guess is kind of like everyone except for people who look like Asian, South American or from the Middle East.


You are uniquely lucky person and probably by other responses you can see how rare is experience like yours. While I never had huge problems on the border, it is always unpleasant experience and what they can do to you is so overproportional to things you can be seen at fault.

My mother in law sneaked an orange in our suitcase, for the kids. I was charged $150 or $300(not sure anymore) for it and put on some list.

The best. experience is when you can pass without any interaction. Rarely I see it as welcome home, even though I am eager go and happy to be, home.

God help you if you are from Syria, Iran or any other country like that. Even Israelis because they 'look arab' often have issues.


Right, they’re usually not outright bad, but they’re certainly not welcoming. To put it in perspective, I’d much rather go to the DMV than go through American immigration controls, and the DMV workers are way nicer.


I would rather go through American immigration controls than to wait for anything at ICBC (a state owned bank in China). There goes an entire afternoon of pure misery.


> Random anecdote: I just got back to the US from several weeks in China.

I'm sure most people will be fine visiting China, but personally I like rule-of-law :)

No justice system is perfect. Coming from Denmark, I'm not impressed by the US justice system. But if you hire a lawyer your odds of a fair trial is decent.

But in China there is no assumption of regularity, or assumption of good faith. If someone powerful doesn't like you or wants to send a message -- then I guess you can take solace in the fact that your organs might not go to waste.


I totally see where you’re coming from and I have no problem with such a decision. It’s not the decision I make, but I wouldn’t try to argue that you’re wrong.

My main point isn’t that everyone should go to China worry-free, but rather that a years-old drug conviction being bumped up from a long prison sentence to a death sentence isn’t going to make much difference to the decision. People like you probably wouldn’t go either way, and people like me aren’t going to change their minds because of it.


You don't think there is a big difference between 15 years in prison and the death penalty? You still have a lot of time left in life after 15 years so it is major difference.


Not if you're quite old. Which I is the only way I find what he said to be logical.


Perhaps as somebody who travels in China, apologizing for China in this way makes him feel safer?


Pointing out that this case does not influence a rational evaluation of the risk/reward of travel to China is hardly “apologizing for China.”


[flagged]


Don't forget the context: I'm brushing it off in terms of its impact on the decision of whether to travel to a particular country.

Or go ahead and forget the context so you can make me sound worse, seems to be your thing.


Not really. In terms of “this has completely ruined my life,” 15 years in a Chinese prison would rate about 9.8 out of 10 for me, while death is 10 out of 10. In terms of balancing the benefits of travel versus the risk of law enforcement misconduct, that additional 0.2 out of 10 makes no noticeable difference.


That seems a little glib. They're not going to scoop out your brain in prison and you have _a_ future, even if it's not the one you were planning for.

Invert it: if faced with the death penalty, how much effort would you expend to get it commuted to 15 years?


I don’t think the inversion is a useful way to look at it.

Here’s the right way to look at it: what do you consider to be the acceptable odds of being imprisoned for 15 years while traveling to a foreign country? And what are the acceptable odds for being killed?

I don’t have a concrete number for either one, but they wouldn’t be much different.

Consider also that your odds of dying in a traffic accident are much higher than your odds of being executed on false pretenses by the state in most places (especially China, where they’ve only recently decided that wearing seat belts is something you should actually do, and the annual per-vehicle fatality rate is almost 10x that of the US), so the added risk from executions is hard to even detect.


I'm not rational enough to really get behind your "right way" to look at it - it's a bit too homo economicus for me!

Sure, the acceptable odds for both are similar and very low, but the outcomes are vastly different. Once my dice roll has bought me into contact either one of those possibilities, I am passionately invested in making sure it's 15 years in prison.

(Edit: such thinking is of course why plea bargains work and are used so often by prosecutors in the US.)


Yes, once you’re looking at one of those two possibilities, you really want the prison. But before that point, almost your entire focus is going to be on not getting either one.

My point isn’t that they’re basically the same in all aspects, it’s that they’re basically the same in terms of their input to the decision of whether to travel to a given place.


That is a very uncommon opinion.


Is it really? It seems pretty widely accepted that the death penalty doesn’t deter crime, for example, which indicates that people (well, potential criminals, anyway) don’t see it as substantially worse than a lengthy prison term.


It's not about which is worse either though. The implicit calculation is: If I get caught, will the punishment deter me.

But (approximately) nobody commits a crime on the assumption they will get caught, so it pretty much doesn't matter what the punishment is. The way to move the needle is to change the assumption about getting caught. The closer that tends towards guaranteed, the less chance people will even make above calculation in the first place.


Yes, exactly. And my thinking for travel is much the same. I’m not traveling on the assumption that I will be falsely convicted of a crime while I’m there. The way to move the needle on my decision to travel is to change the assumption about being falsely convicted, not what will happen to me if I am. Thus, a man already in prison for years suddenly being sentenced to death doesn’t change my travel plans at all.


Or that risk evaluation doesn't generally play a big part in decisionmaking that leads to crimes punishable by death.


It's a fascinating point that the pro death penalty crowd universally ignores.

US violent crime has plunged over the last 40 years, and the murder rate has been chopped in half since 1980, all the while death sentences have declined to ~45-50 year lows (there has been roughly a 90% reduction in new death sentences since 1999). The dramatic plunge in new death sentences over two decades hasn't coincided with any uptick in the murder rate or violent crime.


The people who commit heinous crimes usually have psychological problems that cause them to have very low impulse control. They don't think their actions through very well, which is why they're in their position instead of some better and more legal lifestyle/career. So harsher punishments really don't deter them; they don't expect to get caught and aren't thinking about that when they commit the crime.

There's a theory that violent crime has plunged over the last 40 years because of leaded gasoline being phased out: the lead was in the air and environment and giving everyone low-level lead poisoning.


He was a convicted drug dealer, that's little comfort when other people like the random teacher [0] and entrepreneur [1] they arrested were not.

[0] https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/china-sarah-mciver-detained...

[1] https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadian-officials-meet-wit...


According to your link, the teacher was employed illegally. It's common for students and other people without work permits to be offered positions as English teachers where the only requirement is being born in North America. The employers usually gloss over the illegality or claim that the laws are not enforced. That's been true in the past, but as that teacher had to learn, it can change anytime.

So my generalized advice is to comply with the law instead of relying on lack of enforcement. They can still get you for "national security" reasons, but it's much less likely if you aren't a big fish.


>So my generalized advice is to comply with the law

In a country where millions of people are held in reeducation camps for practicing the wrong religion, the "law" as written is a joke.

From friends living their, it's impossible to actually strictly follow what's on the books, particularly for foreigners. You have to know the current expectations, what's being enforced by the local government etc...

What matters isn't what's written, it's what is currently being practiced.


> From friends living their, it's impossible to actually strictly follow what's on the books, particularly for foreigners.

Could you give an example of laws that your friends found impossible to follow? If they don't speak Chinese, that would explain it, because obviously you first need to understand what the law says before you can comply.


That's not the case.

Check https://www.chinalawblog.com/ for some examples if you want to.

Easy ones are:

You can be held criminally liable for mistakes your employer makes, since you have no control over and likely no knowledge of what "illegal" actions your employer might be taking, there is no way to comply with the law.

If you sell something to a Chinese company and they decide that they aren't satisfied with your product (maybe they just don't want to pay), you can be charged with a crime for selling "defective" products.


Is there any country where it is not somewhat common for foreigners to work there illegally without being punished, and also for those foreign workers to occasionally get caught and deported for it?


That's not my point. The point is that in a country like China following the law as written is not a defense, and it's likely not even possible.

Your best bet is to keep your head down and follow common practices.


Is your point that her failure to comply with work visa rules was actually the right thing to do, and thus her punishment for it is unfair?


Chinese work visa rules contain requirements like you must do P and you can’t do P. Compliance is impossible given the contradiction. Instead, you need to go with the flow like everyone else, China is not a rule of law country, they will just use the law on you if they don’t like you (and given the way the laws are written, you are necessarily breaking something).

It is also important to read sources like https://www.chinalawblog.com if you want to survive in China long term.


I can’t find a definitive answer of exactly what she was accused of, but it sounds like she just didn’t have a work permit at all. I doubt there’s a requirement to not have a permit to work.


I don't know the specifics of this case either, but people are jailed and deported regularly for mistakes made by their employer that they didn't and couldn't have known about.

However, I was never talking about this case in particular. I was talking about the assumption that if you just follow the law as written you'll be fine.

You have no individual rights while in China, and the law is intentionally vague and arbitrarily enforced. This isn't an accident--the system is designed so that anyone can be prosecuted if the government decides it's necessary. If you keep your head down and do what everyone else is doing, statistically you'll probably be fine. However, as a foreigner living in China, whether you break the law isn't up to you.

If a company decides they didn't like the product or service you provide and accuses you of selling defective goods, you can be criminally charged and convicted. If a Chinese citizen overcharges you and you don't want to pay, you can be criminally charged and convicted.


Read the China law blog. If you are an English teacher, you might think you have a proper work permit when your employer has done something really dodgy. They do that because they can’t hire foreign teachers properly, and everyone was just expected to break the rules in the past.

For high paid high tech workers this isn’t much of a problem, we got proper work permits, I think.


I wouldn't be surprised if her employer tricked her into thinking she had the proper permit, as you suggest. I don't see how that matters. I'm sure that sort of thing happens all over the place. The sort of people who would hire workers illegally are also the sort of people who would lie to them and say it's all legal.

Work without authorization, get caught, get arrested and deported. Happens every day in countries all over the world. I don't see anything even remotely remarkable about this case.


It happens enough in China that it’s a common occurrence. Enforcement of Chinese law makes the employee culpable, not the employer, so the employers see no reason to stop doing that to each new crop of naive foreigners.


So, this one incident isn’t unusual or remarkable and certainly isn’t a reason to avoid tourism in the country.


Tourists won’t have many problems in China (beyond air pollution of course); rule of law wouldn’t be much of an issue to them, you aren’t really living there. Workers on the other hand.....


> So my generalized advice is to comply with the law instead of relying on lack of enforcement.

How many years should I spend studying Chinese law before I can be sufficiently sure I'm complying with it?

> They can still get you for "national security" reasons, but it's much less likely if you aren't a big fish.

Isn't the point of this discussion that people who aren't otherwise big fish are being used as political pawns due to their nationality?


That random teacher had some visa problem and was quickly deported. That’s totally normal in most countries.

The entrepreneur is a high profile person playing a very political game with business in North Korea. It does sound like his arrest was unjust, but it doesn’t indicate anything for regular folks like me. His story just reinforces my policy of “stay the fuck away from North Korea.”


>Suddenly changing his sentence to death is rather suspicious, but at least for me it doesn’t make a huge difference compared to a 15-year sentence.

I'm guessing going from 15 years to death sentence is probably a big difference to him.


There are precedents that drug trafficker got death sentences, so there’s nothing surprising at all. I guess he got 15 years sentence originally probably because the government didn’t want to hurt their relationship with Canada at their time. Many Chinese find that sentence improper. Chinese laws and the laws in many Asian country regarding drugs are much stricter than those in US


This is something that has really irked me the past couple years. I feel safer entering other countries than I do coming back to the U.S.

It feels like you’re entering a prison camp going through immigration. Everyone is screened by security before getting on a plane yet passport control officers are wearing swat team bullet proof vests and open-carry guns while checking your passport.


>Suddenly changing his sentence to death is rather suspicious, but at least for me it doesn’t make a huge difference compared to a 15-year sentence.

There's a huge difference, from a human rights stand point for non-violent crimes there is a very noticeable difference.


Of course. But we’re talking about the potential impact on tourism here.


> ... at least for me it doesn’t make a huge difference compared to a 15-year sentence.

There isn't a huge difference between a death sentence versus 15 years in prison? You're kidding right?

Whether the person is in fact guilty or innocent, there is a significant difference between the two sentences, literally the difference between life or death. One irrevocably extinguishes the person's life - there is no going back. The other is a very long incarceration, cutting them off from society for that time, and offering at best a chance for correction.


The context of this statement is in deciding whether or not to travel to China. I am having a very hard time coming up with a scenario where the possibility of a 15-year prison sentence has me deciding to go, but the possibility of execution makes me decide to stay home.


I don't think that tourism is as much of a big deal to China as you think, and additionally I've got a feeling that most potential tourists wouldn't be aware of this news item or could dismiss it as "those people probably did something stupid, it won't apply to me"


But this doesn't apply to just tourists, this applies to all foreign visitors including the business people who drive Chinese economy.

If the business people start avoiding China, there impact on it's already slowing economy would be devastating.


From what I've heard, in the last few years, China has become much more hostile towards foreigners living in China, and the government has significantly turned up the anti-foreigner rhetoric.


> "those people probably did something stupid, it won't apply to me"

To be fair, he did attempt to smuggle "methamphetamines to Australia in pellets stuffed inside tires".

It's not like they picked some random foreigner and accused him of something.


When the protests were in egypt, tourists stopped visiting the country. This had a major impact on the economy. So this kind of stuff can definitely have an impact. The situation in China is different though. Egypts economy is very dependent on tourism, while China's isn't. On the other hand, country wide protests with anarchy are a different thing from a government killing one individual in some shitty trade war.


Most tourism in China probably comes from within China.


Related links:

Thirteen Canadians have been detained in China since Huawei executive’s arrest, says Ottawa https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-thirteen-ca...

China says detained Canadian Michael Kovrig doesn't have diplomatic immunity https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/china-says-detained-canadian-m...

You shouldn't be going to a country where they don't even respect diplomatic immunity


http://legal.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/english/convention...

"A “diplomatic agent” is the head of the mission or a member of the diplomatic staff of the mission;"

"1.A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in the case of:"...

Michael Kovrig was not part of a diplomatic mission to China by Canada. Therefore he is not a diplomatic agent.

This is a clear cut case. Ex-diplomats with private passports are not entitled to diplomatic immunity.


Travelling to a country in a private capacity, with a private passport does not grant diplomatic immunity.


I don't really understand how diplomatic immunity is relevant here. It's not like it is going to protect you if you are not a diplomat.

Plus, if I am not mistaken Michael Kovrig is not a diplomat so saying that china does not respect diplomatic immunity seems baseless.


Guess how many Canadians are detained in US right now? 90k


News we get about China is heavily biased, and it taints our perspective.

There's people who won't travel to the US because they hear daily news of someone getting shot there, and I think that's on a similar position on the reasonable/ridiculous scale.


A good point.


As long as you're not an organized drug trafficker.

Also our media is susceptible to surfacing up anti-China pieces so it'll skew perceptions. I think it could be healthy to visit to get a different perspective other than "that evil brainwashed country on the other side" that I feel is very pervasive. It's an interesting place to visit if you feel like you want to go to a different planet. Though the fact people are now getting scared to even visit makes it feel like the Third Red Scare.


You don't need to be a drug smuggler to be held as a political hostage there. Look at the other links in this thread of other people being snatched as hostages for far less.

In a country without rule of law it's trivial to fabricate some excuse to grab someone if you want to. Your only recourse is to not go there at all, as whether you get snatched if you are there is outside your control. "Don't smuggle drugs" isn't sufficient.


Especially in a country that is currently holding hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of its own citizens as political hostages. You don't have to be a foreigner to be subject to capricious arrest and imprisonment in China.


Multiple popular tourist destination countries execute people for drug offences and it doesn't seem to be that big of an issue.


Not white westerners though its like how poor "workers" from other Muslim countries get treated badly compared to western expats on a full ride ticket.


Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader who led China's market reform, had a saying along the lines of “hide your strength and bide your time”.

Xi Jinping appears to believe China's time has come and you're seeing the results: they're behaving like the authoritarian and petulant bullies that they've always been.

Personally I think this behaviour is gift. For too long we've been fed the narrative of China's 'peaceful rise' by people happy to make a quick buck from its gigantic market.

Now we're seeing China's true colors.

In the decades to come, making China a superpower will be looked upon as one of the most foolish things The West has ever done.


> In the decades to come, making China a superpower will be looked upon as one of the most foolish things The West has ever done.

This assumes this is something the west did. Or that this is something the west should have prevented.

By trading with China the west certainly accelerated growth. But let's be clear hundreds of millions of people have been pulled up from extreme poverty -- overall I think that's a good thing.


True, China's rise has been beneficial for hundreds of millions - it's pretty much a miracle and China deserves a lot of credit.

I just believe that all those that called the USA a reckless superpower ain't seen nothing yet.


It can happen in the US as well. All the cops have to do is put some drugs in your car while searching it.


This very rarely happens at the direction of senior members of the government.

No system is perfect, but in the US we can generally assume the government to be bound by law.


Shit like this happens right here at home, when you’re a black man.


For a bit of perspective: on the other hand, as a brown Muslim man I won't be going to the US any time soon.

Also won't be going to China either due to their current genocide of the Uyghurs.


This is only harmful to tourism if you understand "smuggling ecstasy" as "tourism".


you can't get justice in the west either that's why Snowden went to Russia..


But don't kid yourself, on the whole, as far as justice is concerned, Russia is way worse than the west. They routinely lock up and assassinate people who criticize them, and they're currently conducting a war of hysteria against homosexuals within their own borders.


It's hard to travel anywhere these days. But the US "justice" system is not any better (just more hypocritical - at least China doesn't pretend to follow human rights). Pissing off the US is generally a bad idea due to all the extradition agreements in place. Take for example cyber crime: Guys like MalwareTech are being made an example of.

A country that imprisons people just because being poor and runs it's prisons as capitalist corporations, not to mention champions black sites to torture others shouldn't have an extradition agreement with anyone. The US partners in Europe are as bad.

I'm not suggesting the US is alone with this but us Westerners should be careful with pointing fingers at China, (or Russia) and claim that we have any right to lecture them on human rights issues or our superior legal system. Not in the age of Trump, Bannon, Farage, May, Kurz, Orban, Seehofer, and all other fascists in power today.


Ren Zhengfei’s first wife was Meng Jun (the mother of Meng wan Zhou), the daughter of the former Sichuan Provincial Vice Governor Meng Dongbo. Meng Dongpo served as deputy secretary general of the East China Military and Political Committee. Director of the Infrastructure Department of the Ministry of Metallurgy, Director of the Metallurgical Industry Department of Sichuan Province, Director of the Provincial Economic Commission, Secretary of the CPC Dukou Municipal Committee, deputy governor of Sichuan Province,etc


99% of the tourism in China is domestic. Foreigner shouldn't have white cards on the law because of tourism, that's arrogant and unhealthy.

I was afraid of China because of these random news. But when I finally went there in September, I was surprised as all the internet fear mongering was wrong. When you read your local newspaper and see a murder, are you afraid to go out ? No because it's an outlier, as is the case above. I went alone for 1 month in China and felt much safer than in France. But if you plan to go to China to play the game of law for money, then except to lose big. That's why the country feel safe, the risks are huge, that means dissuasion. Avoid political talk and don't be arrogant = 0 issues there.


Your account is three minutes old and this is your first (and only) comment. Additionally, your grammar indicates that you’re not a native English speaker.

I’m not typically a tinfoil hat type of person, but I, at least, have a heavy amount of skepticism towards your comment. Bluntly, it reads like it was taken directly from some pre-approved list of PRC propaganda.


I don’t know. His english mistakes are very plausible just typical French grammar mistakes and his viewpoint is not incorrect and in fact most likely true for the overwhelming majority of visitors. Perhaps the tin foil is sitting a bit tightly...


The use of the phrase "white card" (carte blanche) is telling.

However, we don't need to resort to tinfoil to point out that their anecdote misses the point. "Don't be political" is poor advice when Canadian citizenship is perceived through a political lens.


I don’t think PRC propaganda would so blatantly invite people to come visit but keep their mouths shut while visiting. They probably wouldn’t promote that they police speech so heavily.


I don't want to go to a country where I have to "avoid political talk."


It’s interesting how new accounts get created to defend China every time a negative piece about China shows up.


> But when I finally went there in September, I was surprised as all the internet fear mongering was wrong.

You're not going to be able to collect enough relevant anecdotes on a brief visit to be able to make a meaningful statement about much beyond your own personal experiences. You can't see or experience much as one person, and in a place like the Soviet Union, things will be hidden from you.


Why should you have to avoid political talk? Why shouldn’t you be allowed to talk about whatever you want?

Also, your grammar errors arn’t those typically made by a Francophone. This is a tell.


Chinese leadership doesn't want Meng Wanzhou to talk, revealing the full extent of Huawei misdeeds. The new sentence for Schellenberg is - I believe - a message of solidarity for Meng's consumption and less an attempt to manipulate the Canadian justice system. Keep in-mind Shellenberg was sentenced to 15 years. A re-sentencing like this is unusual and experts say manipulated. The sooner Meng is extradited to the US, the faster Canada can get of the middle... though I doubt it will help Shellenberg's plight.


A message of solidarity, which when you unwrap it contains a subtle threat.


How subtle a threat is a death sentence?


It's interpretable as a subtle threat to Yang. The message looks on the surface like solidarity: "We'll step up tensions over your arrest. We're on your side. Hang tight." But really, it says, "We have no issues whatsoever with judicial murder so keep your mouth shut." It's not like Canada is going to release her to get a convicted drug smuggler out of jail after all.

Maybe it is not so subtle!


Why would they want to threaten her publicly, as oppposed to say through her lawyer?

I'm pretty sure whatever message there is, it was mean for Canada, US and the world.


It's interesting to me how much China is behaving very much like a "gang", like the Crips or Bloods from the 80's. "You take one of ours, we'll grab some of yours." Doesn't matter what the reasons for the grabs are, it's just posturing.

It's sad when you're international relations are at the level of hoodlums.


If you read the article, you'll note that he was already arrested and convicted before all of this began.

It's his sentencing that is being used to "make an example". Clearly this is done for political reasons to "send a message" .. and judges in the US routinely use sentencing as a means to do the same.

The only thing here is the disconnect between the harsh sentencing and the perceived reasons for it.

I mean, you're not wrong, but I feel like you're missing the angle of what's going on here.


> judges in the US routinely use sentencing as a means to do the same

American judges are fiercely independent. Where “messaging” is concerned it’s within the context of deterring future crime, not messaging to foreign states.


Not as independent as you would believe. The number of applications judges actually refuse for search warrants and wiretaps is miniscule. All too often they act merely as extensions for police departments.


> All too often [judges[ act merely as extensions for police departments

Empirical data disagrees with your assertion [1]. Judges act as an effective check on prosecutors. There are systemic issues which mitigate this check, e.g. cash bail and plea bargaining. But the difference between America and China in judicial independence and prosecution procedure is night and day.

[1] https://scholarship.law.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?arti...


I don't think anyone would dispute that there's a huge gulf between the US and China relative to judicial independence. The article you reference refers to impartiality at the trial or adversarial stage. I'm referring to the actions of judges in granting search warrants and wiretaps where there are very few checks in place and all too often the judiciary acts as little more than a rubber stamp that's entirely too deferential to police and prosecutors. By way of example, in Utah apparently half of search warrants are issued within 3 minutes [0]. How can one credibly assert that the judiciary is acting as a gatekeeper to the excesses of the state when a warrant is signed off in three minutes? Additionally, Utah is by no means exceptional in this regard.

[0]: https://www.apnews.com/a2b48c6f1911472986b0e501bdca9f25


The article talks about 2 other Candians who were arrested on dubious national security claims.

>Last month, Chinese authorities detained Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two other Canadians living in China, on suspicion of national security crimes. They highlighted Schellenberg’s case, and the prospect of putting him to death, shortly thereafter.


That's always the case. Interpreting international relations as spats between gang members (or 8 year-olds) clarifies a lot of things.


International relations become a lot more comprehensible once you realize that it is the one example of a true, pure anarchy you can find on this planet.


Reminds me of the sarcastic and cynical inversion - referring to gangs as baby governments. Historically that isn't wrong given that strongmen charging protection fees (by consent or coercion) and making an example of any "bandits" harming his income by robbing them or harming their paying subjects. This creates the monopoly on violence and things can progress from there for better or worse.

Given an apocalyptic collapse and enough time you might see the Crip Nation eventually become literal.


people really don't like this line of argument on HN. I am curious to find out why.


Probably because it often is too couched in ideals that seem for lack of better words childish - they already know that it is backed by a monopoly on violence and power vacuums tend to make any idyllic situations rare and short lived so there is little interesting there even to avowed anarchists. They're aware and usually consider it the lesser of evils unless things go /seriously/ wrong.

Better received are nuance and reality bound arguements. Talking about viable schemes to de-hiarch institutions and their limitations is far more interesting.

For instance one more viable concept is the "when everybody is the police nobody is" - a situation where everyone has the same policing powers and a tribunal legal system would be very radical but it is interesting conceptually to explore.

Specialization still produces premiums so one could discuss in said hypothetical if there was a "security fund" that people pay in and could get paid by consent for operating as a dedicated policeman despite lacking any privledged position legally. Even if one thinks the whole operation would probably be doomed to failure by collapse or hierarchy entrenchment it gives plenty to discuss in facts and opinions.


I’d take a step deeper and realize that this is glorified tribalism that’s stuck in humans. We evolved into a civilized species but the idea of territorial tribalism is embedded deep into our very psyche.


Yeah, but it can be fought. I was never a nationalist, but I didn't realize how ingrained a lot of habits are until I started traveling through Europe. I've once read that "weirdoes start 10 miles from home" - well, it's not that bad but it's still amazing to realize that yes, people in different countries are still people.


I think it can be fought on an individualist level but difficult as it goes against the grain with political objectives and nationalist motifs. It’s so deeply engrained - see 1985 UN speech by Jiddu Krishnamurthy. It was a real eye-opener but everyone goes back to normality the next day.

Tribalism is very active and impossible to get rid of in my view unless something totally disruptive happens (Alien invasion at which point we will engage in interplanetary tribalism).


It’s pretty interesting reading through some of the psychology experiments on ingroup/out group formation: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realistic_conflict_theory


The analogy works for many US states and even some city politics as well. There's just less bloodshed than when real street gangs fight.

Remember that limo that crashed and killed 20-ish people? The NTSB and the State Police gang are still fighting each other over who's turf it is.


at risk of sounding like an edgy libertarian, what do you think is the difference between a government and a gang with internal rules?


Properly governments operate by the consent of those they govern.

Gangs rule territory and the people within it almost strictly by violence. The closest similar in governments is a dictatorship, which must rule by the constant arbitrary application of violence to keep people terrified. A proper government operates by the peaceful consent - representative government, democratic systems, constitutional rights protections - of citizens of that government.

This is obviously not always the case with governments, however it is overwhelmingly (nearly exclusively) the case in the more prosperous, stable nations.

Gangs don't operate by the democratic vote of those that suffer/live within their dominion, they operate by the stray, subjective, whim based application of extreme violence. Codes of honor that are strictly adhered to within the mafia or gangs is wholly a fantasy, a lie, cheap hollywood bullshit at odds with all of history. Brutal behavior is a requirement of maintaining power as a gang. Gangs must also constantly murder or intimidate other neighboring gangs, to maintain their territorial control. Properly a government does not behave that way. The US doesn't need to kill everyone in Canada and take what they have, in order for the US to be prosperous or to maintain US sovereignty and power; the same goes for the relations between eg Finland and Sweden, or Australia and New Zealand.

Gangs very specifically do not primarily operate by an objective application of rules of justice. Stable, prosperous nations & their governments tend to thrive precisely due to the application of objective laws, the steady enforcement of and protection of human liberty. Gangs operate by the subjective command at the top and the effective enslavement of productive people through terror. The rules are subject to arbitrary, often extreme, change when it's convenient to the gang's ruler/s. A new gang leadership can pivot the gang to an entirely different behavior on a whim; such behavioral change is wrong in a civilized nation, where human rights protections should be the primary concern and are not up for arbitrarily being tossed out the window. When the next leadership of the governments of Australia or Sweden come into being, they aren't going to randomly decide to murder a lot of people to establish their dominance.

This list doesn't stop, the differences between a proper government and a gang is elaborate. They're nearly polar opposites.


> Properly governments operate by the consent of those they govern.

Don't gangs operate by the consent of their members?

> Gangs rule territory and the people within it almost strictly by violence

Is this not the case in real world governments? After all they use the police to enforce their rule via violence.

> by the constant arbitrary application of violence to keep people terrified

Isn't this already the case in the judicial system? Sure, it is not as arbitrary as street gangs but certain people will receive bigger sentences than they deserve to set an example, or you have people like Ross Ulbricht that were sentenced for things that were not convinced for.

> peaceful consent - representative government

More like the dictatorship of the masses, where the people that do something that the majority does not like get punished. Though, it is true that this is not so similar to street gangs.

> constitutional rights protections

The constitution does not seem to matter that much in a lot of countries, including the US, as they tend to either introduce new clauses to the constitution or to create laws that contradict it.

> Codes of honor that are strictly adhered to within the mafia or gangs is wholly a fantasy, a lie, cheap hollywood bullshit at odds with all of history

Would you say the same about the yakuza for example as well?

> objective application of rules of justice ... objective laws

I can't really see anything objective about laws myself. To me both the command of the top of the gang and the laws are subjective.

> where human rights protections should be the primary concern and are not up for arbitrarily being tossed out the window

This seems to happen regularly even in the western nations.

> When the next leadership of the governments of Australia or Sweden come into being, they aren't going to randomly decide to murder a lot of people to establish their dominance.

Wasn't Germany was a democracy when that certain Austrian whose name we dare not to speak got to power?


You are right, the real test of a "proper government" will be after the economy crashes for extended periods of time. For USA it will be after our bull run slows down over the next century.

Germany failed the test last century.

Side note: Germany's "proper government" in the 20th century, was building concentration camps like "Shark Island" in West Africa for human experimentation pre-WWI and WWII while the economy was booming. So IMO it would fail many tests in the foreign policy department.


Historically governments absolutely did need to kill people abroad to exist. The US has fought wars of independence and territory, it's had a war with britain, canada, and the mexico (spain). It's just that now we have agreed upon turf lines. In other places of the world where no such agreement exists, governments are still killing people.


Strictly speaking the US never had a war with Canada, it had a second war with Britain (Canada wasn't a thing yet).


"The US doesn't need to kill everyone in Canada and take what they have, in order for the US to be prosperous or to maintain US sovereignty and power; the same goes for the relations..."

100 million+ Native Americans and the millions of "Scramble for Africa" victims would've loved that treatment... hard to call a group a "proper government" after we spend 4-5 centuries stealing everything around the planet that isn't nailed down and at the tailend outlaw the "gang traits" mainly because we are now economically/militarily dominant enough to safely do so.

A true push for "proper government" domestically and globally would require a lot of reparations that we are not willing to pay (would probably bankrupt us if we tried).


you had to use the qualifier "proper" four times in that comment, to the point where it's basically a no true scotsman argument. the "proper government" you describe is a pretty specific kind that has really only existed at scale in the west for a few hundred years. states in the rest of the world and through most of history seem to satisfy most of your criteria for gangs.

i admit it's a silly argument to claim there is no difference between modern states and gangs, but it also seems problematic when your notion of a "proper government" only includes Western style constitutional republics.


Of course I used proper numerous times, it was pre-emptive. I did that on purpose, because it's pointing to the ideal. If I just said government generically, someone would chime in and point out Stalin or North Korea etc. and then declare my entire point to be wrong due to worst case examples.

It does favor Western constitutional systems, they have worked very well overall and they're overwhelmingly and objectively superior in quality of life and happiness results. They've also tended to dramatically outperform other systems on income and wealth production, at all wealth brackets. People don't want to live in Myanmar, North Korea, Zimbabwe or Venezuela, they want to live in Sweden, Finland, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Canada etc.

There are very, very few cases where this doesn't hold. Pick nearly any metric. Japan and South Korea both adopted Western style systems, the results speak for themselves compared to most other nations in Asia.

GDP per capita leaders (a decent proxy for overall economic development): Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Ireland, US, Denmark, Australia, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Canada, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Israel, France, UK, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Spain

It's dramatic to say the least. They're all using Western style systems of government.

The outlier list: Singapore, Qatar, UAE. Total population: 17 million, with two of those being energy states.

There are very few exceptions, with Singapore being among a tiny list of those that has been a bit at odds with traditional liberal democratic norms and still results in a high quality of life in most respects.

I wouldn't use Stalin's reign of terror and dictatorship as the role model for good government behavior or the ideal to pursue. Qualifying by saying "proper" is a necessity. I don't consider Stalin's approach to be a proper government in any regard. I'm skeptical that ruling solely through violence can be reasonably considered governing.


Didn't korea develop as a military dictatorship (taiwan too) and only pivot to a western style system only after it found economic stability?

An alternative way of looking at it might be: western style governments work best in countries with an existing economic base. A western government hasn't done so hot in India or the middle east: it's not a panacea.


You're describing how a functioning society with a functioning government works in a textbook. In reality it might not be all the way at the "gang" end of the spectrum but I assure you it is closer to that extreme than your comment appears to place it.

There's a lot of gang-like behavior once you scratch the surface. It's just more diverse and indirect than using violence against people who don't respect your authority. When person from department A tells person from department B to shove it department A doesn't send thugs to beat them up, they simply make sure that the friends and relatives of the person from department B get stonewalled in any interaction with department A.


The moment anyone starts using a death row felon as a bargaining chip, the death sentence turns into a political murder.


Sadly history suggests the turn into part isn't new at all. Just look at pretextual abuses like troublesome political figures receiving it like union leaders and anarchists with only tennous links to crimes philosophically let alone evidentiary. And before that there was King Henry the 8th and he certainly wasn't remotely the first.


Of course, political murdes aren't exactly uncommon in dystopian dictatorships.


I am confused by this article. It says, "Schellenberg was arrested in 2014 and received his original sentence in 2016 in a case that went unnoticed."

But according to the Chinese court[link 1], he was first sentenced for 15 years in jail on 2018-11-20. Robert appealed to high court. On 2018-12-29, the high court decided the original sentence was too light and asked the intermediate court for a new trial.

link 1: http://court.dl.gov.cn/info/122_138614.vm


So he smuggled 220kg of meth, while 50g is death penalty in China.


China (vietnam, singapore, etc) has been executing drug smugglers for a long time now. Nobody really raised a fuss when they were executing africans who may not have been aware of the consequences. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-16137327


He was held for four years before being found guilty, with that first verdict giving him 15 years. Not sure what to make of the 2016 part, I think that refers to the date of his first trial.

Here's what the NY Times has on it:

"Last month, a court ordered Mr. Schellenberg to be retried after he appealed a 15-year prison sentence for smuggling methamphetamines. ... After his arrest [in 2014], Mr. Schellenberg was held for 15 months before his first trial, and it took an additional 32 months before a court declared him guilty and sentenced him to 15 years in prison for his role in a failed attempt to smuggle drugs from China to Australia."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/14/world/asia/china-canada-s...


you could be imprisoned if in china police raid an expat bar and deported and in light of current events jailed and persecuted if police find traces of THC in your blood. They do raid expat bars regularly just to do this.

so really - reconsider going to china if you've been using any of recreational drugs in last while.


If he is not Canadian, would it be different for such drug case?


The timing for reviewing a case already concluded and the rare step of inviting western media suggests narrative play.

China did warn of severe consequences. At the very least, China wouldn’t have allowed a low level official to determine international discourse. Perhaps China is at least suggesting the same thing to Canada -- don't allow a low level process to interfere with high stakes conversation.


Not sure about China but in many Asian countries drug-related crimes are considered to be very, VERY serious, and often lead to death sentencies: Vietnam, Thailand, Phillipines all have very strict laws here.

For non-foreigners this normally means death sentence. Foreigners do sometimes get some sort of special treatment.


Doubtful. In China (and majority of east and se asia) severe drug penalties are common. Do not touch drugs in the areas. A friend from Shanghai once told me that he has heard (apply huge grain of salt) that there are 5000 drug related executions in China yearly - mostly in the southern and western parts of the country.

It is probably his original sentence was a show of clemency towards canadian citizen which they now take back.


Maybe, maybe not. I do believe that if he wasn't Canadian, we wouldn't be hearing about it.


> Maybe, maybe not. I do believe that if he wasn't Canadian, we wouldn't be hearing about it.

For sure and the same is true before Huawei arrest. This has nothing to do with his case but with how China use Canadian in their country to threaten us (I'm Canadian).


They held a one day retrial after he requested a retrial of his 15 year sentence a while back.


Probably not. Death sentence for drug-related crimes are very common in China. A British citizen got death sentence too a few years back.


Was he executed?


from what i read this morning yes he was, don't have the source available on my hands right now


I don't feel good about buying Chinese goods anymore. Look at what has happened. Even if he's not killed the fact that they brought media in is a subtle as a finger sliding across a throat.


In the United States, the guidelines penalty for trafficking in 200 kilograms of meth is life without parole. Canada's sentencing rules are more lenient. The question is whether Canada will go the wall in what is really a dispute between China and the United States. China does have an aggressive regime of trying to protect its citizens overseas--see, William Sampson--that the U.S. lacks. Sampson was at least arguably innocent while this trafficker is not. There is no doubt that Canada will suffer because of its extradition treaty with the U.S. The question that Canadians have to ask themselves is this: is helping the U.S. to apply its laws globally worth all this trouble in the absence of international consensus?


Ren Zhengfei’s first wife was Meng Jun (the mother of Meng wan Zhou), the daughter of the former Sichuan Provincial Vice Governor Meng Dongbo. Meng Dongpo served as deputy secretary general of the East China Military and Political Committee. Director of the Infrastructure Department of the Ministry of Metallurgy, Director of the Metallurgical Industry Department of Sichuan Province, Director of the Provincial Economic Commission, Secretary of the CPC Dukou Municipal Committee, deputy governor of Sichuan Province,etc


I do not see the connection between the sentencing and Huawei's case other than the timing.


China took the highly unusual step of inviting western media to the man's appeal trial.


And the resentencing is suspicious.


It’s unusual to change a 15 year sentence straight to death penalty. What due process do Chinese courts have?


This man Winston Sterzel [0] has been predicting something like this will happen in China, as they have no tolerance for drugs due to the horrors of the opium crisis.

[0] = https://www.youtube.com/user/serpentza


>they have no tolerance for drugs due to the horrors of the opium crisis.

Are you sure? They are the huge exporter of Fentanyl to North America while the Chinese Government turns a blind eye.


They are OK with harming other people, just not Chinese people. Kind of the same with every nation.


I guess they have no tolerance for drug use in their country. Exporting it makes sense from an economic perspective. I believe US and EU(i.e. with GMO prosucts) is doing the same.


That is: no tolerance for foreigners smuggling drugs to China and contributing to problems of domestic drug addiction. China historically fought wars against the British Empire over this issue, and see it in a context of anti-colonialism.


Key word "export".


Exports are one thing, addicts inside China are another. They still remember how Britain used opium addiction to control them. The Communist solution was to kill all the addicts after they took over.


That's warfare.


Put like this, it sounds like repaying for opium.


What does Canada or the US have to do with the British and the opium wars?


Does anyone actually know the reasons behind Meng's arrest?



thanks, I had been looking for a proper document such as this


They're fairly easy to find out with a simple Google search. The tl;dr is the US government claims she lied to HSBC and other banks in a way that caused them to unwittingly violate US and UN sanctions against Iran.


dons tinfoil hat...

Chinese government unofficially encourages entrapment of high profile executives as bargaining chips.

Canada doesn’t like when one of their citizens is ensnared, applies pressure by upping the ante - holding a legitimate financial criminal from China.

China sees a game of chicken and ups the ante further - to “death” the ultimate expression of raw state power, intended to intimidate.

What happens next? I just hope no one dies.


whoops now that umm Huawei arrest is really going to hurt now.




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