Book Review: The Two Michaels and the Arrest of Meng Wanzhou


A new book tells the interweaving stories of a Chinese executive arrested in Vancouver and two Canadian men detained in China.

A Vancouver courtroom is a harmless place for the start of a battle between the United States and China, but with the southern neighbor’s request for the extradition of a senior electronics executive in 2018, it was on.

When Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou’s plane arrived in Vancouver in December 2018 and was arrested, Beijing was furious.

Soon after, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China.

Nothing to do with Meng, Beijing said.

And so, a saga unfolded. National and international media flooded Vancouver courthouses. The case has gone viral.

Now all the strings of the case have been gathered.

The two Michaels: innocent Canadian captives and high-stakes espionage in the US-China cyberwar by Mike Blanchfield and Fen Osler Hampson details Meng’s arrest in Canada and his extradition hearings in the United States. It is associated with the detention of “Two Michaels” of Canada in China and allows for a captivating reading of the news.

The authors reconstructed the big picture: relations between the United States, China and Canada; battles for cyber supremacy and bickering over what constitutes the rule of law depending on which country you are in; genocide and human rights; the Michaels background; the future of high-tech communications and espionage.

A central tenet of the book is the authors’ argument that Ottawa’s insistence on adhering to its extradition treaty with the United States in accordance with international law, let alone prestige.

The authors argue that Ottawa could have ended the extradition process at any time using ministerial prerogative.

Meng could have returned home and the Michaels could have returned to Canada.

Of course, that is ultimately what happened – but only after a lot of saber-stripping and screaming.

The 281-page book’s conclusion appears on page 123: “The hearings have served as a new front in the epic struggle between China and the United States for economic and political supremacy, a struggle with grave repercussions not only for Meng. and the two Michaels, but for the future of the Internet and all who use it.

The Two Michaels tells an international saga of political relations and cybersecurity

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