By Zhong Sheng
Under the disguise of the so-called national security and data security, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has recently been selling his “clean network” plan, trying to force other countries to establish a coalition of “clean countries” in an attempt to suppress Chinese high-tech firms.
Such blatant hegemonic practice not only undermined the equity of international trade rules, but also damaged the free market environment of the world, receiving wide condemnation from the global public opinion.
What’s certain is that facing a “tech war” continuously escalated by the U.S., China will take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.
Speaking of a “clean network,” the notorious U.S. shall clean itself first. According to Wall Street Journal, an American company that has ties to U.S. military and intelligence agencies drew location data from more than 500 apps with hundreds of millions of users. It’s evident that there are more companies doing similar stuffs. From cyber security cases of Snowden leaks and WikiLeaks, to the PRISM, Equation Group and Echelon cyber espionage, solid evidences have proved that the U.S. is indeed the largest source of cyber-attacks and the biggest threat against global network security.
Out of the worries for U.S. “monitoring,” the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. The ECJ stressed that the U.S. domestic laws put national security and law enforcement interests ahead of personal privacy, which does not ensure the level of protection required by the GDPR—the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.
U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently exposed U.S. plot against China. “Since the 19th century, the U.S. has been the world’s leader in innovation and technology. It has been America’s technological prowess that has made us prosperous and secure. Our standard of living, our expanding economic opportunities for our young people and coming generations, and our national security all depend on our continued technological leadership,” he said in a recent speech, adding that China’s current technological thrusts pose an unprecedented challenge to the U.S.
Proposing to build the so-called coalition of “clean countries,” the U.S. aims at elimination. It cannot accept the fact that Chinese high-tech firms are gradually becoming industry leaders, so it is doing everything to contain them, just to maintain its monopoly in the tech field and deprive other countries of their legitimate right to develop.
The “clean countries” plot of these U.S. politicians, which is dirty indeed, is nothing different from writing “hegemony” on their faces. What they have done has drawn wide condemnation from the international community.
“The State Department has a new vision for a ‘clean’ internet, by which it means a China-free internet,” said American website The Intercept. Russian media also criticized that the U.S. side was being dirty and cunning, and has set a dangerous precedent in international practices.
Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Maria Zakharova put it bluntly that the actions of the U.S. authorities run counter to the basic principles of a free market economy and violate rules of the World Trade Organization, calling it “egregious”. The Russian side hope that specialized international structures and human rights organizations will react appropriately and give an impartial assessment of these actions, she added.
The U.S. practices also encountered criticism and doubts from American enterprises and scholars who believe that the move will eventually make the U.S. itself suffer from losses. Over 10 U.S. multinationals, including Apple, Ford, Walmart and Disney expressed concerns over White House’s executive order for WeChat, saying the order could undermine their competitiveness in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Professor James Rae with California State University, Sacramento, pointed out that the “clean network” program is a gross violation of international principles and practice, and will further undermine American economic competitiveness and recovery.
The attempts of certain U.S. politicians to pull down a “tech iron curtain” has set an alarm. International observers noted that these U.S. politicians just want to revive the fascism and McCarthyism that have been abandoned by history.
The hands of time shall never be turned back by these U.S. politicians, and going against history will only hurt the U.S. image and create trust deficit.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)