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US self-abusing attacking Huawei, ZTE: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2020-12-21 20:43
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A 3D printed Huawei logo is placed on glass above displayed US flag in this illustration taken January 29, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

According to reports, United States lawmakers are expected to approve $1.9 billion to fund a program to remove the devices and equipment of Chinese companies from US telecommunications networks on the grounds that they pose national security risks as part of a COVID-19 relief bill.

Given that Washington has never produced any proof to support its claims that Huawei and ZTE threaten US national security, anyone viewing the matter objectively can see what a lame excuse it is.

Yet that has not stopped the US administration from going all out to strangle the development of the Chinese companies, for example, by imposing sanctions to cut off Huawei's access to US components and technology. The latest move, taken after the US Federal Communications Commission finalized rules early this month that require carriers using Huawei or ZTE equipment to remove that gear, is just another stepped-up effort to deal a fatal blow to their business in the US.

Yet ripping out Huawei's and ZTE's networking gear will hurt US rural carriers as well, as they have been purchasing the two Chinese companies' cost-effective equipment via a government fund. Some rural carriers — the only providers serving rural residents — have already shut down because of the uncertainties linked to the Huawei and ZTE ban, prompting worries that it will further widen the digital divide in the country. Only 65 percent of rural residents in the US have access to high-speed telecom services, as compared with 97 percent in urban areas. Not to mention the delays and disruptions in service as well as other costs that will be incurred during the "rip and replace" process.

The highhandedness of the current US administration against Chinese high-tech companies in a way reflects its desperation to try to contain China's rise, especially in the high-tech sector.

In order to achieve that goal, Washington has not hesitated to abuse its national power in its continuous crackdown on Chinese companies, rejecting the market economy principles that it has long trumpeted. Last week, the US Commerce Department added dozens of Chinese companies including its top chipmaker SMIC and drone manufacturer DJI to a trade blacklist, in an attempt to create more trouble for future Sino-US relations.

The US government should make best use of taxpayers' money to relieve people from the sufferings inflicted by the novel coronavirus pandemic that is still wreaking havoc across the country, rather than squandering it for political or ideological purposes that serve no party any good.

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