US needs to answer China’s concerns over technology

By Hu Weijia Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/14 22:31:22

The logo of China's tech giant Huawei. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is the focal point for the ongoing trade row between China and the US. If the US side wants to end the trade war as soon as possible, Washington should immediately issue licenses allowing US companies to resume supplies to the Chinese giant.

To ease US concerns that Huawei may spy for Beijing and share user data with the Chinese government, Huawei Technologies USA Chief Security Officer Andy Purdy said earlier this week that testing mechanisms can be put in place to ensure security, CNBC reported. Huawei's efforts should be answered by the US government, which claims to act as an advocate for a fair and transparent environment for foreign companies. This is a testing time of the credibility and reliability of the US government.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was quoted by CNBC as saying on November 3 that licenses for US companies to sell components to Huawei "are coming very shortly." However, this is far from enough. The licenses should be issued immediately. More importantly, Huawei needs to be removed from the "US Entity List" of companies that are barred from buying US products.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that trade talks between China and the US have hit a bump over farm purchases. China can never make unilateral concessions. Any concessions by the Chinese side in terms of farm purchases need to be met with similar steps by the US side in other areas such as high-technology investment. Huawei is a test of Washington's sincerity in giving fair treatment to China's high-technology investment.

The negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) between China and the US started in 2008 and significant progress had been made in 2013 when China agreed to conduct negotiations on the basis of a "negative list" approach. However, the US is still far behind in terms of solving problems inhibiting Chinese companies, especially those in high-tech industries, when they invest in the US. 

Fair treatment of China's technology investment in the US remains a sticking point in China-US economic ties. The US can no longer ignore China's demands and must make a reasonable response to China's core concerns. Offering licenses that would allow some US companies to supply goods to Huawei is something the US has to do. 

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.


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