HE Chen Xiaodong is the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China. File picture: Noel Celis/AFP
HE Chen Xiaodong is the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China. File picture: Noel Celis/AFP

The so-called US 'Clean Network' program is unpopular and doomed to fail

By Sponsored Content Time of article published Jan 19, 2021

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By the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in South Africa

It is a pity that Eswatini has announced it had recently to join the so-called US "Clean Network" program. It is fair to say that the "Clean Network" program advocated by the US government, under the pretext of maintaining national security and abusing national power to wantonly suppress other countries' high-tech enterprises, is a completely discriminatory, exclusive and politicized "Dirty Network", which is unpopular and doomed to fail.

First, this "Dirty Network" is a network of tapping. The United States has long been wantonly conducting cyber tapping and surveillance against other countries, including its allies. The United States is the world's number one cyber eavesdropper. It has recently led the Five Eyes in asking companies to install "backdoors" in encrypted Apps. The Chinese company Huawei stated on multiple occasions that it would like to sign a "no backdoors" deal with all countries. One of the main reasons why the United States suppresses Huawei is that it can no longer tap on others through backdoors once Huawei is used by other countries.

Second, this "Dirty Network" is a network of monopoly. It has always been the case in the past that the United States, to pursue monopoly profit and hegemony in science and technology, habitually takes a bandit approach to oppress non-US companies with a competitive edge with US state power. Take a look at precedents like the Toshiba case in 1987 and the Alstom case in 2014, and you will see that the so-called "Clean Network" is in essence "digital bullying".

Lastly, this "Dirty Network" is a network of ideology. Rather than a "Clean Network", it promotes a cold war in the domains of science and technology and discrimination against certain countries. In an era of globalization, the idea of "ideology before technology" and deliberate oppression of certain countries and businesses not only violate the basic law of scientific and technological development and the principle of the free market but also lead to self-imposed isolation, which hurts oneself as well as others.

Data security is an unavoidable issue of globalization, and it must be properly solved in the process of globalization. The Chinese side firmly opposes how the US side throws mud at other countries under the pretext of so-called "Clean Network", seizes other countries' high-tech enterprises on the pretext of safeguarding national security, and continues to wantonly conduct cyber tapping and surveillance against other countries through data technology monopoly. At the same time, the Chinese side believes that most countries, including African countries, will stay independent, make their own decisions, say no to the US "Dirty Network", and foster a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for 5G tech companies all over the world.

China is a major internet country with 900 million Internet users and more than 88 million 5G users. The Chinese government has always strictly abided by the relevant principles of data security protection and has not and will not ask Chinese companies to provide overseas data to the Chinese government in violation of other countries' laws. The Chinese recently launched the Global Initiative on Data Security, which is an initiative that calls for a commitment to the principles of multilateralism, the balance between security and development, as well as fairness and justice, to safeguard global data security. The Chinese side looks forward to the participation of other governments, international organizations and all other stakeholders to jointly safeguard a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for 5G tech companies, promote international scientific and technological exchanges and cooperation, and enable safe, reliable and high-quality information technology to provide new impetus for global economic recovery and a better life for people of all countries.

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL.

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