Yeah but apart from that, US-China relations are excellent. Following President Obama’s barbed comments aimed at China’s new counter-terrorism laws (and their implications for US tech companies – as NSA spying ‘facts’ reduce China’s appetite for American-made IT products), Beijing has blasted back. In one of the least holds-barred undiploatic statements in recent times, China (speaking through its official mouthpiece Xinhua), calls Obama’s criticism “utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.” And with that they are just getting started…
Full statement (via Xinhua)
U.S. President Barack Obama’s criticism of the upcoming counterterrorism law of China is utterly groundless and another piece of evidence of arrogance and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.
Although the enactment of a Chinese law is an entirely internal affair of China, Obama insisted that the measure, which would require technology firms to give Chinese authorities surveillance access in order to collect intelligence about terrorists, is “something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States”.
To begin with, the provisions are written for and solely for acquiring more and better counterterrorism intelligence, as China is facing severe threats from various domestic terrorists, for instance, the so-called “East Turkestan Liberation Organization.”
Terrorists nowadays use more and more modern technologies for communications and collaboration. And it has become a common practice in many Western countries, including the U.S. itself, to keep a close watch on the Internet and telecommunication networks for possible hints of terrorism and other criminal activities.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National Security Agency both have access to the equipment of major U.S. technology firms.
FBI Director James Comey publicly warned companies like Apple and Google in 2014 against using encryption that the law enforcement authorities cannot break.
While defending the legitimacy and necessity of similar behaviors in his own country, Obama’s criticism of Chinese counterterrorism law obviously shows selfishness and hypocrisy of the U.S. foreign policy.
Secondly, the surveillance of terrorism actions on equipment of the Internet and telecommunication companies in China will be carried out strictly in accordance with the law.
And with transparent procedures, China’s anti-terrorism campaign will be different from what the United States has done: letting the surveillance authorities run amok and turn counterterrorism into paranoid espionage and peeping on its civilians and allies.
In fact, the same paranoid and narrow-mindedness, as demonstrated by the over-action of Obama and his cabinet members to the provisions in the Chinese anti-terrorism law, has also denied Chinese technology companies’ access to the U.S. market.
Contrary to the accusations of the United States, China’s anti-terror law will put no unfair regulatory pressures on foreign companies, because the provisions will apply to both domestic and foreign firms.
Moreover, to win the global fight against terrorism, Obama and his government should treat China on equal terms and stop making foreign policies based on realpolitik and the short term pursuit of its own unilateral interests.
Less than three weeks after Obama held the “counterterrorism summit” in Washington and referred terrorism as one the greatest threats in this generation, the president has begun to slam the counter-terrorism efforts of another country, which makes people naturally question the real intentions of such accusations.
China’s new counterterrorism law can help fight terrorism in a better and more effective way. Any setback of terrorists is a victory of all countries.
The sooner Obama and his government understand this, the better will the world benefit.