“How come if Huawei’s technology with 5G is introduced into Western countries, then it will threaten the political system? Do you really think the democratic system is so fragile that it could be threatened by this single high-tech company of Huawei?” this is a question gently asked by Fu Ying, a veteran Chinese diplomat, challenging the “Huawei ban” comments by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
At the Munich Security Conference on the 14th February, Ms Pelosi accused China of trying to export “digital autocracy” through Huawei, and said that China was “threatening economic retaliation against those who do not adopt their technologies”.
Pelosi’s conjecture was questioned by Fu Ying who was among the audience. Fu Ying added that since the implementation of reform and opening-up some 40 years ago, China has introduced all manner of Western technologies such as, “Microsoft, IBM, Amazon. They are all very active in China.” She said she believed these technologies are a help rather than hindrance.
Fu’s question earned spontaneous applause from the attendees. Nancy Pelosi, slightly taken aback, suggested that Chinese companies such as Huawei were not operating in a “free enterprise mode”. Would Ms Pelosi’s European friends agree? Probably not.
Many countries, such as the UK and Germany, seem not to believe blindly in such rumors. As a means of maintaining the security of their communications infrastructure, they appear willing to provide a level playing field for companies from other countries, including Huawei. Why can’t the United States accept that companies from other countries can also come to the fore in terms of economy, science and technology? Might it perhaps have something to do with the fact that it does not want to see enterprises from other countries grow to become bigger and stronger.
The non-discrimination principle is originally one of the fundamental principles of the market economy, which Pelosi referred to as the “free enterprise mode”. This is a serious agreement on fair competition among all parties in the market. Unfortunately, some US politicians not only broke this agreement on the Huawei 5G issue, but also tried to hamper cooperation between its European partners and the Chinese tech giant.
Of course, the rift over Huawei’s 5G issue is just one of the footnotes to the weakening foundation of the transatlantic relationship. Because of the “America first” policy, the United States has pressured its European NATO allies to substantially increase defense spending. In addition, purely economic cooperation such as the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project between Russia and Europe are facing unprecedented pressure from the United States. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, giving the opening address at the Munich Security Conference, pointed out that America may be “‘Great again’ but at the expense of neighbors and partners. ”
The Europeans should not be frustrated by this. At a time of ambiguity in Washington, active cooperation with emerging countries would be a good way for European powers to be rid of this problem. Pragmatic and rational cooperation between Europe and emerging countries, including China, could even eventually touch some politicians in the United States.
A few days ago, a blockbuster report in the Washington Post revealed that Crypto AG, a Swiss manufacturer of encryption equipment had been controlled by America’s foreign intelligence service, the CIA, which had “rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes of countries using the machines to send encrypted messages.” More than 120 countries have used the Crypto AG encryption equipment from the 1950s well into the 2000s, involved in the CIA operation known as “Rubicon.” According to the Washington Post, “Its reach and duration help to explain how the United States developed an insatiable appetite for global surveillance that was exposed in 2013 by Edward Snowden.”
So, is this “insatiable appetite for global surveillance” the real meaning of Pelosi’s “free enterprise mode?”
Note: The above article was taken from the Chinese-language “The Real Point.”