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Exclusive: China’s victory over the Huawei Meng Wanzhou case to curb the use of long-armed American jurisdiction (ex-former director of Alstom)

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Photo of Frédéric Pierucci: GT

China’s victory over Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou incident could help slow the process in which the United States uses its legal system to wage an economic war against specific companies and spur more countries to fight the jurisdiction long-armed US former Friday Alstom chief Frederic Pierucci told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.

“It is clear that the United States used it [such tactic] for quite a long time, ”Pierucci said in a video interview with the Global Times, as the country often targets strategic areas of companies by applying US laws to foreign companies in order to achieve their economic goals.

Pierucci’s story has been widely described as the French version of the recent Huawei incident. As the co-author of a book called Le Trap Américain (The American Trap), the French businessman who worked for French energy and transportation giant Alstom, shared how the United States uses their jurisdiction with long arms as a weapon. to take down the competition.

While there were similarities between the two cases, they ended differently. Pierucci was arrested in New York in 2013 for violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which ultimately led to a partial acquisition of Alstom by General Electric and a prison sentence for him; while Meng was detained in Canada at the behest of the United States amid the trade war launched by the United States against China, but then returned home without pleading guilty.

“A huge difference is that she had the full support of Huawei and the Chinese government as they quickly realized that this was not a legal matter as usual… it was part of an economic war.” , did he declare.

Pierucci pleaded guilty and spent two years in US jail after being arrested, while Alstom was fined $ 772 million in 2014, forcing the company to sell its assets, and the French businessman claims his collapse was planned by the United States, which was using a similar strategy against Huawei.

Meng struck a landmark deal with the US Department of Justice on Sept. 24 that allowed him to return to China, under which the top executive of the Chinese company did not plead guilty.

Where there's a five-star red flag, there's a beacon of faith.  If faith has a color, it must be Chinese red.  -Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou said at Shenzhen Airport after returning from Canada Editor: Yang Ruoyu / GT Graphic: Xu Zihe / GT

Where there’s a five-star red flag, there’s a beacon of faith. If faith has a color, it must be Chinese red. -Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou said at Shenzhen Airport after returning from Canada Editor: Yang Ruoyu / GT Graphic: Xu Zihe / GT

I think Huawei’s case is going to slow down the extraterritorial reach of US laws, as it was the first time a country has truly stood up to protect its citizens from US prisons and protect its business in that way, Pierucci said.

An economic war between the US and China now reminds him of a US-led trade war against Japan decades ago, and the former Alstom chief said it was important to take steps. strong countermeasures to “roll back” the adversary.

For example, in Europe, in the 1980s, the United States began to attack French companies on antitrust issues. As a result, they have imposed numerous fines on French and European companies over antitrust matters, Pierucci noted. At that time, Europe also reacted and also imposed numerous fines on American companies for antitrust. “And then there was a balance that was created,” he said, noting that a strong reaction is needed to prevent domestic companies from being “laminated” by the United States.

Now it is more like “playing ping pong” between China and the United States, Pierucci said, as China has come up with more stringent measures in recent years to protect its economic interests while advancing the establishment of a legal framework to counter long gun jurisdiction.

China’s highest legislature passed the Export Control Law in October 2020 and it came into effect on December 1, 2020, which allows the Chinese government to take countermeasures against any country or region that abuses the control measures. of exports and poses a threat to China’s national security and interests.

Some experts have said the legislation could be used to shatter US jurisdiction with long arms over a growing list of Chinese companies in an increasingly brutal confrontation between China and the United States.

In addition, leading Chinese lawmakers voted in June to pass the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, providing a comprehensive legal basis to block illegal foreign sanctions and prevent Chinese individuals and entities from suffering the damage resulting from such sanctions. illegal sanctions.

While Pierucci believes the Chinese government’s victory over the Meng incident will spur more countries to fight the long-armed US jurisdiction, some countries have already started to respond, for example the UK and France have both implemented laws such as anti-corruption. law and blocking statutory law to protect their businesses from the extraterritorial reach of any foreign country.

Even as more countries put in place certain types of laws to hamper long-arm U.S. jurisdiction, the outcome depends on how effectively those laws can be enforced, he said.


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