US throttles global digital unity and prosperity
Published: Jul 23, 2020 04:04 PM

Photo: IC

A US Senate report released Tuesday slandered China's technology development as "digital authoritarianism."

Full of ideological prejudices and extreme remarks, the report headed by Bob Menendez, a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wantonly labeled all of China's achievements, management measures and international cooperation in the field of digital technology as "authoritarianism."

Such a distorted, made-up phrase is intentionally spewing venom toward China, will not only endanger bilateral relations, but also poses a serious threat to peace, prosperity and stability of the global digital space.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US again attempted to escalate ideological conflict in the digital sphere. Following ever-escalating crackdowns by Washington on Chinese high-tech companies including Huawei and TikTok, the report's release is intended to promote US digital products, and services.

The report includes some evil recommendations to counter China's rise, such as setting up a "Digital Rights Promotion Fund" and opening a cyber military service academy. It also calls for the US to lead a coalition of Western allies to counteract China's technological advances.

The report is essentially a repetition of the US' evil-willed tactics in an ideological war against China. In the future, all Chinese actions in the digital space - whether by the government, individuals, state-owned enterprises or private enterprises - will be viewed by the US from an ideological perspective.

The US governmental apparatus has a reputation for infringing on personal information in the digital space including tapping on its own residents, as it owns the world's largest "spying empire." 

The "Prism Gate" incident made it clear to the world that the US is the worst offender, using digital technology to surveil other countries, even France, Germany and other allies, as well as the UN and other international organizations.

In February, it was revealed that the CIA had been controlling global encryption company Crypto AG for decades, serious threatening cyber-security. Last week, Europe's top court ruled that the Privacy Shield data-sharing agreement between the US and the EU was rendered invalid due to concerns that Privacy Shield did not adequately protect the data of European citizens from US surveillance activities.

It is globally agreed that promoting the development of the digital economy is important, but the actions of the US government constantly split the global digital space. During the COVID-19 pandemic, digital technology has played an important role in virus control. Governments of various countries have stepped up their strategic designs to promote the development of the digital economy.

The US government uses ideological excuses to slander China's digital products and services. 

Take Huawei as an example. Under US coercion, some countries have abandoned the use of Huawei products and equipment. As a result, the deployment of 5G in these countries will lag for years and cost will rise sharply, which will fundamentally have a negative impact on their digital economy.

The US has tried its best to throttle China's digital economy. The development of China's digital technology relies on the power of the market and innovation. China's institutional design in the internet field targets strong network security and privacy protections.

In addition, China's digital products and services do not exist in only certain regions and countries as stated in the report, but have a broad global market base. As a new round of technological evolution is driving the rapid development of the global digital space, the international community should strengthen cooperation rather than draw ideological lines to undermine development opportunities in the digital economy.

The author is a researcher and secretary general of the Research Center for International Cyberspace Governance under the Shanghai Institute for International Studies.