US unilaterally put nations on Clean Network list: source

By Leng Shumei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/9 10:28:40 Last Updated: 2020/9/9 20:28:40

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo File photo: Xinhua

Facts prove that the US intention to contain China in the cyberspace has not been welcomed, as many of the countries that Washington claimed had joined its Clean Network program have denied being part of it, saying the US had unilaterally put their names on the list, the Global Times has learned. 

The US claimed that at least 30 countries and regions had joined its Clean Network plan, including the UK, Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia.

However, according to a source close to the matter, many of the countries denied that they had joined the program, but were nonetheless included by the US in the list, which experts said was aimed at building momentum for its so-called Clean Network plan. 

It is a very dirty trick to lure other countries into the plan, experts said. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in early August recommended the "Clean Network" program, which featured clean carrier, clean store, clean apps, clean cloud and clean cable, upgrading the country's containment and suppression of Chinese technology companies, including Huawei and TikTok. 

Experts said the so-called Clean Network has nothing to do with cleanliness - the security of the app or stores - but only to remove Chinese apps and services.

The initiative was only a bluff aimed at preserving US dominance in the high-tech sector, Chinese experts pointed out. 

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times that he did not expect many countries or regions to follow the US, as they are also aware of the US' intention and would not sacrifice their own national interests.

"Other than Canada and Australia, I do not think most other countries or regions would actively take action," Xiang noted. 

The UK government previously said that it needs at least five years to remove Huawei equipment from their 5G networks. This move taking such a long period was taken by some Chinese and UK experts as potentially positive for Huawei. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry slammed the US initiative as an "arbitrary" action that runs counter to market principles and international trade rules.

"I'm afraid what they have in mind is not a 'clean network,' but an 'American network'; not a 'secure 5G network,' but a 'US surveillance network'; not protection of the 'privacy and liberties' of individuals, but consolidation of the 'digital hegemony' of the United States,"  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on August 14 at a routine press briefing.

"Such practices run counter to the fair competition principle, and go against the common interests of the international community," Zhao said.

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