US expelling Chinese telecom firms 'political poison' to world business

By GT staff reporters Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/10 22:28:40

A technician of China Telecom's local branch debugs wireless network for residents in a village in Damxung County, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, March 6, 2020. China Telecom's Tibet branch organize personnel to install and debug network lines in remote pastoral areas in northern Tibet to guarantee online classes for local students amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Xinhua/Jigme Dorje)

Chinese experts said US efforts to revoke the business licenses of three State-owned Chinese telecommunications firms in the country are "political poison" that undermines the global business environment. 

The comments come as Chinese telecommunications companies oppose the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s so-called show-cause orders and a US Senate report released on Tuesday that faulted the FCC and a group of US officials in the oversight of China Telecom (Americas) Corp., China Unicom (Americas) and Pacific Networks Corp for nearly two decades.

The US Senate report is the latest development since the FCC issued in April show-cause orders requiring the three Chinese carriers to explain why the agency should not revoke their authorization to operate in the US or face license termination. The report urged the FCC to quickly decide whether to revoke the three Chinese carriers' authorizations.

Chinese experts said the US is taking another extreme move in the direction of China-US decoupling, and the small scale of the subject in question did not prevent US politicians from creating a new battleground in their attempt to escalate bilateral tensions, speed up decoupling and play the China card to deflect criticism for their inability to contain the COVID-19 epidemic and social unrest at home.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, said the ban on Chinese telecommunications firms, which runs a limited scope of services - mostly roaming data packages - only affects a business worth several hundred million US dollars.

"There is a palpable eagerness from the US government to look for a new turf to start a fight with China to show its strongman stance in dealing with China," Xiang told the Global Times. 

China Telecom (Americas) said in a filing on Monday that it called the government's claims "unfounded" and argued the FCC should not revoke its right to operate in the US "based solely on foreign policy concerns in the absence of any evidence whatsoever of specific misconduct." 

China Unicom (Americas) and Pacific Networks Corp also urged in previous filings the FCC not to do that.

"The US move will undermine the existing and fundamental trust that made globalization possible, and the move will serve as political poison to the global business environment," Li said, adding that China is expected to continue to demonstrate its political and commercial goodwill to all foreign firms investing in the country.

The US stepped up its crackdown on Chinese firms since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. It pushed a ban aimed at preventing Chinese technology giant Huawei from using overseas supplies made by US technologies, and then added 33 Chinese technology firms, colleges and research institutes to its Entity List.

It also rolled out unfriendly visa policies on Chinese students studying in the US.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

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