Unprincipled jingoism

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The US House of Representatives’ Canada-related motion once again proves that the US has no equal when it comes to employing a double standard. As well as passing three Hong Kong-related resolutions on Tuesday, the House adopted a fourth resolution, praising Canada for arresting Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecom giant Huawei in December, acting on a US request for her extradition. At the same time, the resolution also condemns China for what it calls the “abusive” imprisonment of two Canadian men.
The request for Meng’s extradition was politically motivated as it was part of the US campaign against Huawei. As for China’s detention and formal arrest of two Canadian citizens on suspicion of criminal acts, they have been handled according to the law. China detained Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in December, a few days after Canada detained Meng in Vancouver. The two were formally arrested in May in accordance with the law on suspicion of prying into State secrets and providing intelligence for overseas forces. These were isolated cases based on the actions of Kovrig and Spavor and were not retaliation for the detaining of Meng.
Yet in the eyes of US lawmakers, China’s detaining the two Canadians represents an arbitrary abuse of power, while the long-arm detention of Meng is commendable law enforcement. The US House of Representatives deliberately putting the two sets of cases in one resolution with total disregard to their different nature, shows US lawmakers are willing to confound right with wrong if it serves what they believe to be the US’ purpose.
The US administration has long made Huawei a bête noire in the US by unwarrantedly accusing it of being a security threat, and many Republican and Democratic members of Congress have clearly swallowed this claim without question. Indeed it has become a cause célèbre for some, having elicited a patriotic Pavlovian response. When the US president signaled his intent to lift the outright ban on the sale of goods to the Chinese telecom giant that his administration had imposed, there was an immediate political backlash with a cross-party group of lawmakers proposing an act aimed at stopping the US Commerce Department removing Huawei from the “Entity List” and preventing it issuing licenses waiving the restrictions.