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U.S. report on Huawei, ZTE is far from convincing

2012-10-16 09:47 Xinhua     Web Editor: qindexing comment

The United States Congress's latest report against Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE was based on a groundless excuse, rendering its argument far from convincing and compromising Washington's reputation and credibility.

Earlier last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee issued the report alleging that two leading Chinese technology companies, Huawei and ZTE, pose possible threats to U.S. national security.

However, when we look into the report and read relevant news reports, it is not hard to see why it is unconvincing.

First of all, it lacks solid evidence to support its conclusion. Second, some representatives of the U.S. Congress have invested in Huawei's rival, and, therefore, personal interests may affect their judgment. Third, it is obvious that Washington is pulling politics into the political arena.

Bill Plummer, Huawei's top spokesman in the United States, said, "This report is little more than an exercise in China-bashing and misguided protectionism. Selecting a world-respected company like Huawei as a proxy for such attacks is also an egregious example of libel."

Huawei and ZTE have voiced their anger, and many media outlets, including some from the West, have cast doubts on the report.

As a San Francisco Chronicle column put it, "There's nothing in the report, unless you count innuendo, supposition and guilt by association, to suggest either company has engaged in cyber-espionage, is malevolently interfering with America's telecommunication supply chain or presents a threat to American free enterprise."

The accusation that the two Chinese companies pose a security threat to the United States is based on the assertion that they cannot be trusted to be free of state influence, a subjective judgment with no credible evidence to support it.

Meanwhile, an investment item analysis from the Chinese Business Journal of the 535 representatives of the U.S. Congress revealed that their report is not only politically motivated and full of prejudice against China, but may also cater to their own personal interests.

It reported that 73 of them have invested in Cisco, the U.S.'s largest telecommunications company as well as a company that has long seen Huawei as its top competitor, according to the findings.

They will not tolerate a devaluation of their stakes in Cisco, and using national security concerns as a means to block the company's competitors, mainly Huawei and ZTE, seemed like an ideal solution.

Huawei has been successful around the world, but the one market it hasn't been able to penetrate is that of the United States, largely due to politics and lobbyists pushing hard to set up barriers.

A seven-page September 2011 presentation distributed by Cisco was recently obtained by the Washington Post. Titled "Huawei's & National Security," the document was used to lure clients away from Huawei, it quoted a person from Cisco on condition of anonymity as saying.

Furthermore, the U.S. Congress report, coming amid an American presidential race in which trade tensions with Beijing are a prominent issue, highlighted politicians' bias against China.

The politicians' unfounded attacks on Chinese firms woo a lot of voters who are worried about what pressures a rising China will put on American employment and the economy.

The U.S. Congress's trick did not even sell well to Britain, its closest ally.

"Like the UK government, we see no need to change our position following the U.S. report," said a spokesman for BT Group, Britain's biggest telecom company.

"We find them to be good value and high quality -- that's why they have been chosen as a supplier in a fiercely competitive international market," he said.

Last month, Huawei announced a 2 billion U.S. dollar investment in the UK that will upgrade the country's telecommunications network.

U.S. politicians should not ignore worldwide criticism of their move to block foreign companies like Huawei, and they should bear in mind that irresponsible actions will never be without consequences.

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