PRC China Calls On USA FCC To "Correct Its Wrongdoings"

By Isabella Cheng, Published Nov 19, 2021, 09:22am EST

The PRC government called for the US to "correct its wrongdoings" after the Secure Equipment Act passed both the House and Senate last month, claiming the US government is "abusing national security motives." President Biden has since signed the Act into law.

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Although the PRC government accuses the US of this "abuse", the PRC government has systematically excluded non-PRC tech products over the last decade citing national security risks.

In this report, IPVM examines the PRC government's comments as well as feedback from key Congressional supporters of the Secure Equipment Act, such as US Representative Claudia Tenney, who called out the "Chinese Communist Party [for] weapon[izing] China’s technology companies" to "use them as a tool for its ambitions of global hegemony."

China Daily: US Abuses National Security Motives

"Washington is abusing national security motives," an article published by the China Daily on November 2, 2021 claimed, after the Secure Equipment Act passed both the House and Senate. China Daily is an English-language newspaper that is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The US government is "continuing to misuse political and legislative power to contain the rise of Chinese telecom and tech companies," the article stated.

The China Daily included commentary from Bai Ming, a senior research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation.

Bai also claimed that the US government's actions serve to "contain the rise of Chinese telecom companies" and said US consumers will be harmed:

US government has been abusing the national security concept to contain the rise of Chinese telecom companies. It is mixing politics with normal business cooperation, and such practices will ultimately harm the rights and interests of US consumers.

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The article proposed that the Act will have no material impact on the 5 covered companies' businesses in the US, with ZTE and Huawei specifically saying they have negligible revenue in the US.

PRC Ministry of Commerce: US Must "Correct Its Wrongdoings"

Shu Jueting, spokeswoman for the PRC's Ministry of Commerce also called for the US to "immediately correct its wrongdoings," the China Daily article reported:

Shu Jueting, spokeswoman of China's Ministry of Commerce, on Thursday called on the US side to immediately correct its wrongdoings and provide a fair, open, just and nondiscriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in the US.

Global Times: Act "Blocks and Suppresses Chinese Companies"

Global Times published an article claiming the new law "blocks and suppresses Chinese companies" on November 12, 2021, the day after President Biden signed the Secure Equipment Act into Law. Global Times is a daily tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

The article, published only in Chinese, berated the US for "abusing national security power" and for denying "market economy principles":

In order to maintain the US technology monopoly and hegemony, the US government has generalized the concept of national security, abused national power, and unscrupulously suppressed Chinese high-tech enterprises. This is a denial of the market economy principles that the US has always advertised, and it also exposes the hypocrisy of the US so-called "fair competition."

The Global Times article's headline includes the phrase "不择手段" to describe the US' actions, best translating to "by hook or by crook" or "by fair means or foul."

PRC Government's Hypocritical Stance

However, the PRC government's claim that this is "abuse" is hypocritical, given its own systematic exclusion of foreign products. The PRC's own exclusion policies have been in place for years, through top-down government directives and written into local tenders. It is well-documented in IPVM's recent investigation How the PRC Blocked Out Foreign Tech Products Claiming Security Risks.

Senator Marco Rubio Comments

Senator Marco Rubio, a co-sponsor of the Secure Equipment Act in the Senate, told IPVM, in response to China Daily's comments:

IPVM ImageChinese state-directed companies like Huawei and ZTE are known national security threats and have no place in our telecommunications network. I am grateful that the Senate and House passed this bill, which will help keep compromised equipment from bad actors out of critical American infrastructure. Now, President Biden must swiftly sign it into law so that the Chinese Communist Party can no longer exploit this dangerous loophole.

Representative Claudia Tenney Comments

Representative Claudia Tenney, a co-sponsor of the Secure Equipment Act in the House, commented to IPVM that the CCP "weaponizes China's technology companies" and the importance of the passage of the Act:

IPVM ImageThe Chinese Communist Party weaponizes China’s technology companies, which are either state owned or state directed, and uses them as a tool for its ambitions of global hegemony. This is true of Huawei, ZTE, and the rest of the entities on the FCCs covered list as well as companies like DJI, which I hope will be added to the list in short order. While Chinese government “wolf warrior” diplomats and state-paid propagandists downplay its significance, the overwhelming bipartisan passage of the Secure Equipment Act is critical for two reasons. First, it prevents high-risk telecom equipment from entering U.S. networks, regardless of funding source and second, it provides crucial leadership to nations around the world that look to the FCC for guidance on how best to manage their telecommunications security regimes. I look forward to the President signing this legislation into law.

Representative Anna Eshoo Comments

Representative Anna Eshoo, another House co-sponsor, commented to IPVM:

IPVM ImageEquipment made by companies on the FCC's 'Covered List' create a national security vulnerability and put the privacy of Americans at risk. My legislation, the Secure Equipment Act, prohibits the FCC from issuing licenses for any equipment made by Huawei, ZTE, and other entities that pose a national security risk. I’m proud that the House and Senate passed our bill to protect the national security of the American people.

Conclusion

The irony is clear. On the one hand, the PRC government condemns the US for "abusing national security motives" by enacting the Secure Equipment Act. On the other, the PRC government itself systematically excludes foreign products, emphasizing that China must build its own "secure", "autonomous", and "controllable" network.

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