Tue, Jan 29, 2019 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: Boycotting Chinese tech products

China’s Huawei Technologies Co has become the focus of an international controversy. Following the arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟) in Canada, Poland-based sales director Wang Weijing (王偉晶) was arrested over espionage allegations just as more countries are banning its products from their telecoms networks.

In Taiwan, the Industrial Technology Research Institute, the Institute for Information Industry, and other research and development agencies have barred Huawei products from connecting to their intranets to maintain information security.

Meanwhile, research conducted by US-based think tank Peterson Institute for International Economics suggests that the popular Chinese video and music platform Tik Tok, whose popularity has soared in the past couple of years, collects user data and sends it to China, making it another one of Beijing’s tools for intelligence gathering.

The threats posed by Chinese technological products to other countries’ national security is drawing increasing international attention.

In response to the growing global boycott of Huawei products, China’s state-run newspaper Global Times has blasted “Western intelligence agents” for taking advantage of “the supremacy of public opinion” to “encircle” and “strangle” Chinese enterprises.

The newspaper also played the victim, saying that no matter how good Huawei’s products or Tik Tok’s software were, they bear the “original sin” of being “made in red China,” the archenemy of Western ideology.

China has clearly labeled the boycott of Huawei and other Chinese tech products — implemented in many countries to ensure information security — a Western conspiracy.

The Global Times’ backlash, ironically, fails to serve its intended purpose of clearing Huawei and instead underlines that the boycott is by no means merely a fight for technological dominance, but rather part of a global geopolitical conflict between liberal democracies and an authoritarian dictatorship — a fight that bears great significance for the development of human civilization.

The global opposition to Huawei represents a head-on confrontation launched by democratic nations against China’s growing evil.

The US-China trade spat seems to be a matter of a world power suppressing a rising power. Essentially, it is a confrontation between the US, a democratic nation with a free-market system, and China, an authoritarian state with a state capitalist system — a fight between two different political, economic and value systems.

China’s ascendancy could lift its population out of poverty, which is a good thing, but the reality behind its growth and how it uses its economic power shows that China would eventually grow into the greatest threat to democracies and free markets.

This is because China has risen by superficially adopting capitalist policies, while it is actually founded on unfairness, and the exploitation and oppression of other nations through theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, and high entry thresholds for foreign enterprises to enter the Chinese market, while local companies enjoy huge government subsidies and dump products abroad at unfairly low prices.

Consequently, China’s rise does not create a win-win situation that brings benefits and prosperity for all, but rather a zero-sum battle of life and death.

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