|Statement by Ambassador GENG Shuang at the 31st Meeting of Legal Advisers at Law Week 2021
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly stipulates that “[n]o one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile”.
Arbitrary detentions violate human rights and the rule of law, and most arbitrary detentions of foreign citizens involve abusive use of unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction”. Using arbitrary detentions as a tool to put pressure on other countries violates the basic principles of international law and basic norms of international relations, such as sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs. China is firmly opposed to arbitrary detention. We stand against double standards in this regard, or using arbitrary detention issues for political purpose and unilateral bullying.
When discussing arbitrary detentions, we cannot ignore the United States’ notorious records in this regard. Over the years, the U.S. has been detaining a large number of suspects in the notorious Guantanamo prison. Some suspects have been detained indefinitely without ruling through due process of law, and have been constantly subjected to torture and ill-treatment. The U.S. has also arbitrarily imprisoned innocent immigrants and forcibly separated children from their parents, breaking up countless families. According to the Los Angeles Times website, among the 266,000 immigrant children detained by the U.S. government in recent years, more than 25,000 have been detained for more than 100 days, nearly 1,000 have spent more than a year in refugee shelters, and some have even been detained for more than five years.
The Meng Wanzhou incident, concocted by the U.S., is a typical case of arbitrary detention. It has long been fully proven that the so-called “fraud” charges against Ms. Meng Wanzhou are purely fabricated. Even HSBC, the so-called “victim” portrayed by the U.S. side, has disclosed materials that are sufficient to prove Ms. Meng’s innocence. This incident is the result of unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction” by the U.S.. It is an incident of political persecution against a Chinese citizen, which seriously violated the rules and principles of international law on respect for human rights, legitimate exercise of national jurisdiction, non-interference in internal affairs, and mutual respect for sovereignty. The incident is designed to hobble China’s high-tech enterprises and impede China’s development. It is a blatant act of unilateral bullying.
Canada has also played a very dishonorable role in this incident. Instead of politicizing arbitrary detention issues under the pretext of discussing legal issues, the Canadian side should do some serious soul-searching and draw lessons from this incident.
On respecting international law, what the U.S. and Canadian sides should do is to stop lecturing to other countries in a condescending manner, and to put aside their pride and prejudice, abandon double-standards, face up to and examine their own serious problems. They should take practical measures to uphold the rule of law at international level and promote the healthy and stable development of the international order.