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The New Yorker throws stone in a glass house

In this recent article at the New Yorker, Evan Osnos insinuates Chinese companies ultimately cannot be trusted because their relationship with the government cannot be known for certain. His entire article basically boils down to the following:

Part of the complexity about being a big Chinese company is that it’s not clear what information related to your relationship with the government counts as a secret.

I guess China could simply declare Apple has a secret spy chip implanted on behalf of the NSA in every iPhone. No evidence required. Therefore, Apple should be blocked in China and around the world. Imagine a Chinese journalist writes, “part of the complexity about Apple’s relationship with the NSA is you don’t know what counts as a secret.” The secret is so secretive, we can’t find anything! Hence it’s complex. What idiocy. Does that even make sense?

The truth is Cisco is becoming bloated and not so competitive anymore. The longer Huawei is artificially hindered in the U.S. market, the more certain it is that this American behemoth will not get enough pressure to become more nimble. If Osnos is smart, he should instead look at the corruption in Washington and Cisco’s lobbying. When a society protects its inefficient corporations, that’s never a good thing in the long run. China has already learned that lesson, and Deng Xiaoping’s Reform and Opening Up policy is precisely a response to that!

Of course, Google is joint at the hip with the CIA and NSA. Osnos is frankly not thinking clearly. To help American corporations abroad, you would think U.S. media want to not play the negative political ad game? Once other countries do, isn’t it American corporations market share to loose. Look at Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, and so on’s footprint abroad.

If there is real evidence pointing to Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese government, then by all means, apply journalism. Report it and make noises. Smearing for the sake of smearing is not always helpful. What is that old English proverb which cautions people not to throw rocks when they live in a glass house?

  1. Zack
    June 19th, 2012 at 08:00 | #1

    it’s the anglos pathetically attempting to delay the inevitable:

    somehow, somewhere; in the back of the anglo mind, they reckon that if they cut back on Chinese business ventures/forays in the American market, then somehow the Chinese behemoth can be constrained and by that extent, Chinese superpowerdom is delayed and in effect, Anglo supremacism is saved for another day. It’s the mentality that compelled the collapse of Chinalco’s purchase of Rio Tinto.

    In effect, the Americans are attempting to enact protectionist policies without the label of ‘protectionism’. IF they claim national security grounds (and what can’t be claimed as national security in this day and age?) then they don’t need to prove anything an the fearful hypernationalistic gullible american public will lap it up. There’s no onus of proof when ‘national security’ is invoked.

    Regardless, the American market is dying, even US companies are finding their saviours in Asia (read China), and the US may well find itself shut out of China and its trade allies, the more it behaves in this way.

  2. Zack
    June 19th, 2012 at 08:56 | #2

    mercantilist indeed, i really ought to add!

    and btw, perhaps China ought to take the USG to the WHO over its protectionist policies, frequently citing ‘national security’ whilst making the case that the USG is insincere when it comes to cybersecurity, using the case of Stuxnet and Flame as two salient examples.

  3. collin
    June 19th, 2012 at 12:21 | #3

    Zack, please stop with the racism.

  4. Charles Liu
    June 19th, 2012 at 13:29 | #4

    DW, regarding Huawei I think you’ve pointed out elsewhere that many US corporations have CEOs with similar military service background as Ren Zhengfei:


    And what large corporation does not have dedicated government relations division? In addition to Google’s NSA backdoor we also have AT&T’s FBI listening posts. As a practice western journalists never draw the parallels when singling out China.

  5. Zack
    June 19th, 2012 at 13:46 | #5

    what racism?

  6. collin
    June 19th, 2012 at 13:55 | #6

    Ascribing an anti-China economic mindset to the subconscious of an ethnic group.

  7. Zack
    June 19th, 2012 at 14:39 | #7

    apologies if that was conveyed; twas not my intent, but i stand by my claims that countries dominated by the anglo ethnic group has consistently and historically had a sinophobic attitude towards Chinese. Proof is in the pudding, and is exemplified through sneering superiority complex laden reports emanating from the anglo press.

  8. June 19th, 2012 at 16:41 | #8

    collin is right, and I am glad Zack gets it.

    In this blog, we frequently rail against the Western media for doing the same against ‘China’ and the ‘Chinese.’ For example, when the NYT labels lead poisoning in recalled toys as “Chinese”” lead toys, it is racism. It is defaming the whole Chinese race, because, if you only pause for a second to think, the toys are only made by certain companies. (As it turned out, most of the problems in fact were due to American design flaws to begin with.)

    Some may say, well, it is a Chinese factory that was involved. Well, then, the correct narration should be a problem from a so and so factory in China.

    So, the vitriol that we frequently see in comments hurled against the Chinese is because ‘Chinese’ is commonly used as a negative adjective in the American press.

  9. Zack
    June 19th, 2012 at 17:57 | #9

    the thing is, i remain unconvinced that the anglosphere (meaning the 5 english speaking countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ) will honestly deal with and work with China on a level footing with respect, especially when their chief, the USA consistently blocks Chinese investment in the American economy, undermines Chinese national security and peace by backing nations like the Philipines looking to pick a fight with China, and harbours Chinese traitors and funds subversive groups in the US.

    None of these actions are friendly actions, therefore i do not view the US as a true friend, ‘zhen you’ of China. At least, for the moment.

    i long to see the day when the anglos are humbled; when they are arrogant no more, when they will speak of China with respect, not fear borne of jealousy, insecurity and racial hatred. I fear i will not live to see the day, and that nothing short of a calamitous war where the Anglo nations are raped and scorched to near extinction will compel any sort of respect from the anglos. I hope i’m wrong, but the evidence laying before me proves otherwise.

  10. June 20th, 2012 at 00:17 | #10

    It’s everyone’s duty to make sure war doesn’t break out. For China’s rise to be supported by the world at large, China will have to do it accompanied by truly making our world a more just and fairer place. That’s where I put my hope.

    I guess Zack this is an on-going conversation we’ve been having. I am of the camp that the U.S.-led West is basically in a cooperatition with China. We don’t see the type of military training and support given to the Dalai Lama as did under the Cold War in the 50’s . If the U.S. is all for stopping China’s progress, she would not have allowed all the FDI from U.S. corporations. U.S. corporations would be setting up shop elsewhere to manufacture. The U.S. would immediately cut off trade. The U.S. wouldn’t be accepting so many Chinese students to study in her universities. The list is would be really long.

  11. Zack
    June 20th, 2012 at 08:49 | #11

    perhaps i am too much of a cynic, but i believe that actions speak louder than words, and i would interpret the US actions of apparent generosity as having a basis in self interest.

    True, the US may not fund anti chinese guerillas (at least not overtly) but that doesn’t mean she eschews the whole idea; we’ve covered great depth when it comes to USG funded NGOs such as Freedom House and NED who are committed to undermining the Chinese government’s legitimacy for the aim of creating conditions that would lead to a violent Chinese colour revolution.

    True, the US may invest in China but this is hardly charity. Many US firms have benefited and profited immensely from their Chinese investments. If the regulatory authorities in the US allow the Chinese purchase of AMC to go ahead, then i believe there is hope for genuine Sino-US ties, otherwise it’s all window dressing and lacking in substance. The targeting of Huawei for instance is hardly fair nor conduct becoming of a nation wishing for a better relationship with China.

    True, the US has allowed Chinese students to study in the US, but this is also of self interest in attempting to groom and influence impressionable and potential Chinese leaders of the future.

    In fact the US could just cut off trade with China; it’d find itself the worse for wear, especially since China’s current economic growth is already largely self driven and the declining consumer economy in the US means the Chinese market is more important that the US market.

    Ever wonder why Obama chose now, of all times to fast track the US/NATO encirclement of China? It became apparent to American leaders in 2010 that China was already a larger economy in terms of PPP, and so Obama being the inexperienced leader that he is-and hilary clinton being as incompetant as she is-chose the path of brute force: military containment to try to put the Chinese genie back in the bottle.
    The sad fact for them is that the time for doing that was back in 1993; now, it’s impossible for them to achieve that, so they’re hedging against the inevitable pull of a Chinese century with overwhelming full spectrum dominance of siege warfare.

  12. June 20th, 2012 at 10:28 | #12

    I agree with a lot of what you say. The U.S. trying to isolate China would have come at a huge price if it were to be successful. Otherwise the U.S. risk isolating itself. I know for a long time the U.S. blocked certain technology trade with China, but the Japanese and Europeans didn’t go along. All that ended up being is American companies lost out.

    China’s entry into the WTO was not a U.S. charity. The U.S. exacted tremendous benefits while many Chinese industries lost out due to Chinese society being screwed for centuries and coming to the industrial revolution party much later.

    If not for China, GM would be shit today. China is now the biggest market for Intel. Apple’s revenue quadrupled last year in China, making the country the company’s #2 market already. Starbucks has the highest margins in China. U.S. companies are reaping huge profits there.

    And, true, organizations like the NED try to undermine the Chinese government using ideology. U.S. media collectively defames the country.

    Despite ALL of that . . .

    You would have to agree the U.S. posture with China is not at all like the Cold War against the former Soviet Union.

    I still see waves of Americans consulting and working with the Chinese government to help improve Chinese society.

    I see truly well-meaning American NGO’s working with Chinese NGO’s and universities to help improve things over there.

    Reluctantly, the U.S. is agreeing to more voting rights to China and BRICS countries to the World Bank (provided the countries inject more funds).

    The exchanges that’s taking place – for example, Obama’s 100K Strong Initiative – is very broad.

    Despite the defamation that goes on in the Anglo press about China’s investments in Africa, China and the continent are actually doing tremendously well. If it is Cold War footing, I think the U.S. would do much more to undermine China and Africa’s relationship. Granted, NATO bombing of Libya and U.S. support of carving out Southern Sudan makes Chinese investment in oil in those countries more difficult. But I don’t think the U.S. is there to kick China out.

    Along with the ‘pivot’, joint military exercises with Japan, South Korea, and Philippines, there is nevertheless the very broad ‘normalization’ that is taking place between China and the U.S.. In the long term, I hope that this ‘normalization’ dominates the two countries’ relationships.

    It’s like two teams in the NBA. The American team comes with football helmets and gear. There is a lot of unnecessary roughness and fouls from the American team. The Chinese team cannot give up. It has to find a way to stay in the game and score.

  13. no-name
    June 21st, 2012 at 22:08 | #13

    The US is so famous for its many companies or corporations (which have very close ties to US politicians) that turned little nations into banana republics. Not only that, the US government is very unquestionably the most dangerous on Earth. For just how dangerous it is, read http://www.scribd.com/doc/97859966 and become wiser !

  14. Zack
    June 21st, 2012 at 23:50 | #14

    ‘no-name’ looks a lot like a spammer to me; he or she keeps trying to promote the same site; now either there’s some malware on the other end of the link, or no-name’s a bot.

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