Your warmth is a beacon that lights my way forward

—On the 1st anniversary of my arrest

With winter approaching, I can see the dense forests begin to slowly turn the hills around me to a deep crimson. The beauty of nature is clear to anyone who looks.

It was never my intention to be stuck here so long, but I suddenly find that a whole year has snuck by, and here I still am.

The past year has witnessed moments of fear, pain, disappointment, helplessness, torment, and struggle.

Over the past year, I have also learned to face up to and accept my situation. I'm no longer afraid of the unknown.

When I was in Shenzhen, time used to pass by very quickly. Every day, my schedule was fully packed and I was constantly rushing from place to place, and from meeting to meeting. At Huawei it's normal to hold meetings during breakfast or lunch or late into the night. I always felt like I was being stretched thin and that there was never enough time to get everything done. I've had no choice but to become a multitasker over the years. This is true of all Huawei employees, though.

You can find busy and dedicated Huawei employees everywhere around the world, from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from north of the Arctic Circle to the most southern tip of South America. Because of that, I had never had the luxury of taking my time and enjoying my surroundings.

If a busy life has eaten away at my time, then hardship has in turn drawn it back out.

Right now, time seems to pass slowly. It is so slow that I have enough time to read a book from cover to cover. I can take the time to discuss minutiae with my colleagues or to carefully complete an oil painting.

For the past year, time has slipped slowly through my fingers. For the past year, my heart has been warmed by your support and encouragement.

Again and again, when a Huawei colleague posted about me on our internal messaging board Xinsheng Community, I would see pages and pages of follow-up posts.

In these dark moments, our customers and suppliers have chosen to trust us, support us, and wait. This motivates us to work even harder.

Every time I appear in court, a crowd waits outside. Your passion and support have always warmed my heart.

I was told by my colleagues that take-out delivery workers left encouraging comments like "Go Huawei!" and "You can do it, Huawei!" on orders delivered to our campuses. These words are simple but sweet enough to melt our hearts. All of this is encouraging us to forge ahead.

Netizens have gone out of their way to express their ongoing trust, support, and care for us as well. You can see their comments online every time Huawei is in the news. Some are warm, some are firm, some are long, some are brief, some are affectionate, and some are plain but sincere.

Of course I've also been deeply moved by the kindness of people here in Canada. Thanks to the kindness of the correctional officers and other inmates at the Alouette Correctional Center for Women, I was able to make it through the worst days of my life. When the judge announced that I was granted bail, the applause in the public gallery made me burst into tears. After a whole night of heavy snow, the security company's staff were so considerate that they shoveled a path for my elderly mother, filling our hearts with warmth in this cold winter.

Every time I appeared in court, it added extra work for the staff of the court. I'd like to sincerely thank them for everything they have done.

With all of these countless acts of kindness, countless people have lent me their strength and warmed my heart. Thank you for your support. Thank you for your kindness. I have felt it like a spring breeze. Your goodwill has been engraved upon my heart, giving me the fortitude I need to work even harder. Every single encouragement spoken has motivated me to read one more book or take one more course. I no longer feel so far from home. I'm no longer afraid of the rough road ahead. While my personal freedoms have been limited, my soul still seeks to be free. Amidst these setbacks, I've found light in the life around me.

In Chinese, the character for "light" is composed of two parts: one that means fire, representing hope, and one that means people. Whenever you are there, we can see a myriad of twinkling lights. These lights warm our hearts, show us the way forward, and give us the willpower to brave the dark.

My dear friends, your warmth is a beacon that lights my way forward, and I appreciate it more than words can say.

Sabrina Meng

Vancouver, December 1, 2019