The US government is seeking to extradite a retired McGill engineering professor on accusations that he conspired to illegally send US-made computer chips to China for possible military use.
The professor in question is Ishiang Shih, a Taiwanese native.
America claims that the Chinese company that employed Shih planned to make circuits for “missile-tip guidance.”
However, a lawyer involved in the case believes that this is an overstep, and is part of a broader battle between the US and China.
Ishiang was indicted in early 2018 along with brother Yi-Chi Shih, also an electrical engineer. Yi-Chi was convicted of offences related to computer chips transfers to China and faces more than 200 years in prison.
According to the National Post, the U.S. has asked Canada to extradite Ishiang, who retired as a McGill professor a year ago.
The lawyer, James Spertus, who defended Yi-Chi, says the whole case involved made-up charges with a prosecution strategy that deliberately misled the jury.
Spertus said he believes the case is designed to send a message to China as the trade war heightens, and the Shih brothers, Taiwanese natives, are innocent researchers caught in the middle.
This move comes as Meng Wangzhou, Huawei’s CFO and the daughter of the company’s CEO, was arrested in Vancouver as America sought her extradition. Then and now, Canada has been sandwiched between the rumble of the bald eagle and dragon.
Spertus further notes that the prosecution involved the brothers duping a US company to sell its technology to China. However, the same US company actually has a good bulk of its operations in China.
The US claims that the brothers took the technology from said American firm and gave it to Chengdu Gastone Technology Company (CGTC), a firm added to a U.S. Commerce Department export-control list. It is believed that both brothers worked for this firm in the past.
According to the indictment. Yi-Chi was CGTC’s president and Ishiang its technical director. An email Yi-Chi sent his brother in 2010 contains plans for the company, including civilian chip applications such as cell phones, and products such as “missile-tip guidance.”