China is galvanized to work toward tech independence

By Wen Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/28 21:34:19

Generally speaking, Chinese people belong to an introverted but easy-going tribe long accustomed to the philosophy of win-win relationships and peaceful coexistence - unless they are provoked. 

As the Trump administration launched its tariff war against China in mid-2018, we naively thought it had a somehow tenable pretense that China runs a considerable trade surplus, although the truth underpinning the bilateral trade gap is the American people's overconsumption and their meager savings rate. 

But the nature of the trade tussle suddenly changed in May. When Washington upped the ante in its geopolitical gamble by ordering the end of US corporate supplies to China's Huawei, the flag-bearer of this country's technology corps, over a billion Chinese people were shocked by the move by the Trump administration to wage a technology war to kill Huawei and its advanced 5G. 

The stifling of Huawei immediately touched off a national tempest of opposition and indignation toward the Trump administration, because what it did to Huawei implies its heinous intentions to cut short and ruin China's economic growth. 

There are rising voices for the Chinese government to retaliate against US technology companies. And voluntarily, waves of online readers have called for a boycott of all US-made goods. Although Huawei's founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said he opposed a government order banning Apple, many have quietly taken action to shun Apple phones, tablets and laptops. Personally, I have bought five iPhones and two Apple tablets in past years, and I will stop buying them if the Trump administration does not relent on Huawei. 

Huawei's refusal to kneel down and kowtow to the US bully has inspired 1.4 billion Chinese, who are anxiously waiting for the market launch of its self-developed "HongMeng" operating system for both Huawei smartphones and its tablets and computers. A company executive said the system will be released in the fall of 2019 at the earliest. We hope the release of the software will come just prior to October 1, as a special and sweet gift for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. 

By all metrics, Huawei's resilience and courage to face the world's big bully will galvanize Chinese scientists, engineers and university students to step up their efforts to intensify research and development and innovations in all fields, whether in hardware, software, 5G applications, AI, big-data, high-end robots, nuclear technology, satellites, missiles, ships or semiconductor chips. 

And from now on, we must discard our illusion about the US government. We have no qualms about tethering ourselves to technological independence for the purpose of keeping core intellectual property firmly in our own hands. Unlike the US, we will spread Huawei's 5G and all other civilian Chinese technologies to Belt and Road partners and help those less-developed countries to develop. 

China's determination to pursue technological self-reliance will reduce this huge market's demand for American supplies - including chips from Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia and AMD, as well as the Android and Window systems and their associated software from Google and Microsoft, and nearly all other American companies.

But please do not blame the Chinese people. It is the offensive economic policy of the Trump administration that has provoked the fight, and it will boomerang.

The author is an editor with the Global Times.

Posted in: INSIDER'S EYE

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