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Actions against Huawei cold war of technology: China Daily editorial

China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-31 19:58
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Visitors are attracted by products at Huawei stand at the International Funkausstellung 2017, the world's leading trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, in Berlin, Sep 2, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

It was reported on Wednesday that the European Union is considering proposals that would effectively amount to a de facto ban on Huawei's equipment for next-generation mobile networks based on concerns that it might compromise national security. This is just the latest move in a concerted series of attacks on the Chinese telecom giant by the United States and its allies.

By making such allegations, if the European Commission were to amend the definition of critical infrastructure in EU law to include 5G mobile networks, it would effectively prohibit EU businesses from using Huawei equipment on the grounds it might be used for spying or sabotage.

The constant detraction of Huawei has been orchestrated by the US, as part of its pressure tactics to contain China. Having conjured the accusation that the Chinese company represents a national security threat out of thin air, it has roped in its allies as accomplices in its fear mongering. The attacks against Huawei are now unabating and unceasing. Indeed, on the part of the US, they have become increasingly nasty, as shown by the charges announced against the company and some of its representatives by the US Justice Department on Tuesday.

The slander, discrimination, pressure and coercion of the US and its allies are nothing more than a pretext to squeeze Huawei out of the global market. The US would consider it a victory in the technology cold war it is waging against China if it could eliminate Huawei. And it would be of particular significance to the EU, as the other leading 5G companies are Sweden's LM Ericsson and Finland's Nokia.

Yet Huawei supplies 45 of the top 50 global telecom companies and has signed contracts with 30 carriers to test its next-generation technology. Given how integrated the telecommunications industry is, blocking Huawei's development will also harm the development of other countries' telecom companies and the industry as a whole.

Huawei will do whatever it can to protect its rights and interests. It has already set up laboratories in Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom for their governments to conduct security tests on its software and hardware.

But the actions of the US and its allies have nothing to do with national security or fair competition. Instead, they are the actions of a politically motivated lynch mob as the West seeks to obstruct China's development as a world power in science and technology.

The US has long used national security as an excuse to deny exports of key technologies to China. And whenever Chinese technology companies cut conspicuous figures overseas through their own efforts, the US is on pins and needles until it can find a way to suppress their development.

Beyond the immediate horizon of the US-instigated persecution of Huawei lies the future digital society. Countries should reflect on how that society can avoid the persistence of past prejudices.

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