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Two Chinese women indicted in America

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At a time when the new Imperial era of Reiwa is only two weeks away, two Chinese women have been indicted in the United States. What do they mean to Tokyo and Washington? For the latter, of course, they are part of its hegemonic game with Beijing. Then what about Japan? Let’s start with the facts about those two women.

One is Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of China’s telecom giant Huawei, who was arrested in Canada last December on behalf of the U.S. for allegedly defrauding financial institutions in breach of U.S. sanctions against Iran. She was indicted by the U.S. in January for financial fraud. Huawei products are now banned in many nations.

The other Chinese woman is reportedly from Shanghai and was arrested on March 30 at U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and later indicted for unlawful entry into restricted grounds and lying to investigators. When arrested, she had two passports, $8,000 in cash, thumb drives containing malware and an electronic device that detects hidden cameras.

When entering the property the woman identified herself as Zhang Yujing and, posing as a club member, first said she had come to swim. Then, as court documents reveal, she claimed that her Chinese friend “Charles” told her to attend “a United Nations friendship event” to speak with a member of the president’s family about China-U.S. relations.

Since the arrests of the two women, much has been reported and I will not duplicate all of it here. What is more striking, however, is the surprising similarity between the two criminal cases that are seemingly independent of........

© The Japan Times