FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter//File Photo

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The Chinese government arrested Chinese billionaire Sun Dawu and assumed control of his business, Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group. Dawu was arrested on charges of “causing public disorder and disrupting industrial operations.”

The Chinese Communist Party seized about 100 businesses in the past three years. Sun is an outspoken critic of China’s crackdown on activism, and he embarrassed the government by posting pictures of his pigs that had died of the African swine fever, accusing the government of downplaying the disease.

 This development is part of an ongoing trend in China’s government assuming control over businesses to keep them in line. Kellee Tsai, a political scientist at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, stated China has been dealing with “an ongoing dilemma about co-optation and ensuring loyalty, while allowing sufficient autonomy to develop a competitive economy.” 

The Canadian ambassador to China visited the two Canadian Huawei executives who were arrested two years ago. Canada accused China of arbitrarily detaining the two Canadians shortly after Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou violating U.S. sanctions on Iran. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that he did not regret standing by the U.S. and following Canada’s laws.

China also threatened to arrest U.S. citizens in China. This was in response to the U.S. Justice Department’s prosecution of Chinese scholars conducting research in the U.S. without disclosing their active duty status with the People’s Liberation Army of China.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Why China Jailed a Billionaire Entrepreneur and Seized His Company – Voice of America – 11/20/2020
In August, workers for the Dawu Group reportedly clashed with a state-owned farm’s employees during a land dispute. According to Sun’s social media post, more than 20 people were injured.   In an interview after the incident, Sun said the police were clearly in favor of the state-owned farm since “it belongs to the state,” but “they are a gang that pursues personal gain in the name of the state.”

PM Trudeau: No regrets about arrest of Huawei executive, says world must stand up to China – CTVNews – 11/19/2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday defended the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou and urged countries to stand up to Chinese bullying as he prepared for two potentially explosive international summits. Canada’s relations with both China and the U.S. figured prominently during a question-and-answer session with Trudeau ahead of Friday’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation meeting.

It’s Only a Matter of Time Before China Detains U.S. Executives – Lawfare – 11/20/2020
In many PRC-watching circles, this news likely elicited a simple shrug. The PRC has always viewed law enforcement as a tool of the state, meant to serve the political goals of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rather than serve the idea of justice. PRC authorities have often tried to use law enforcement actions to influence or exert leverage—but they have never been so explicit in their threat to do so. Until now, they have always been quick to disabuse others of the notion that their law enforcement actions are in retaliation for anything. 

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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