OPINIONS Biden has picked up the witch hunt baton


Biden has picked up the witch hunt baton

China Daily

21:32, July 25, 2022

The national flags of China and the United States. [Photo:Xinhua]

As part of its neo-Reds under the bed scaremongering, the previous Donald Trump administration trumpeted that made-in-China home appliances, such as refrigerators and televisions, were spies ensconced in US households. It also claimed that the Chinese telecommunication company was the "number one concern" for democracy.

Proving the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same, the Joe Biden administration is unwilling to let that lie rest with sleeping dogs. In an unannounced investigation launched shortly after Joe Biden took office early last year, the Commerce Department is conducting an ongoing investigation of Huawei over alleged concerns that US cell towers fitted with its equipment could capture information from military bases and missile silos and then transmit the data back to China.

Huawei in advancing to the vanguard position in 5G technology has inadvertently become the victim of a US-led spy-tech witch hunt. If it is any consolation to the company, which has been subject to a seemingly endless cycle of voiced suspicions followed by punitive actions, no evidence has been presented to support the claims. That has served to prove the professionalism of the Chinese company that serves and operates in nearly 200 countries and regions without being mired in any such troubles.

On the contrary, it is the US that has repeatedly been caught red-handed eavesdropping and cyber snooping both on its own citizens and those of other countries. Indeed, pretty much everyone. It has also been caught hacking foreign institutes, and it is no secret that it coerces companies to hand in their data and information under the pretext of safeguarding national security.

After subjecting Huawei and some other Chinese hi-tech companies that it deems a threat to US companies, not national security, to the most rigorous scrutiny over the past few years along with its allies, including the United Kingdom, without finding any evidence to substantiate its charges, there must be a reason why the Biden administration has chosen to dish up the same old Red menace stuff at this moment.

And there is. On the one hand, news of the probe has come amid complaints from telecom operators about the shortage of funds to help them meet the "rip and replace" deadline to remove and destroy Huawei equipment, with federal reimbursements only reaching 40 percent of the total requested so far. So a practical purpose of the investigation is to help ease the resistance the administration faces in forcing the telecoms operators to meet that deadline.

On the other hand, the probe offers a counter to complaints that the administration is being too soft on China. With the approach of the midterm elections and bipartisan China-containing strategy becoming political correctness, the Biden administration does not want to be accused of jettisoning its predecessor's anti-China legacy.

As such, the probe is nothing but a by-product of the partisan politics in the US.

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