US official’s slander of Huawei’s Africa business is ill-willed
Published: May 09, 2022 09:23 PM
Zhao Lijian

Zhao Lijian

The slandering and smearing remarks made by some US officials against Chinese companies are folly, and they only expose their intention of provoking China-Africa cooperation, a Chinese official said, when asked to comment on US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman's remarks on Huawei during her recent Africa tour.

Sherman said that when some countries choose China's Huawei as telecommunications equipment provider, they are "potentially giving up their sovereignty. They are turning over their data to another country. They may find themselves bringing in a surveillance capability they didn't even know was there."

"The remarks made by the relevant US official against China are completely untrue. Her remarks can only expose her plans to smear China and contain China, and to deliberately provoke China-Africa cooperation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a press conference on Monday.

Chinese enterprises, including Huawei, have carried out good and mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries and many other countries in the world, which effectively promoted the improvement and development of local communications infrastructure, Zhao said.

Chinese firms have provided local people with advanced, high-quality, safe and reasonably priced networks, which are welcomed by local people. During the cooperation process, there has not been a single cybersecurity incident or spying allegation, the official noted.

Zhao pointed out that the Chinese government takes a clear stand against the misuse of information technology to conduct mass surveillance on other countries. In the "Global Initiative on Data Security" proposed by China, China clearly called on information technology companies not to create "back doors" in their products and services, and countries should not directly obtain data from companies or individuals located in other countries. 

The initiative, published in September 2020, proposed that states should handle data security in a comprehensive, objective and evidence-based manner, and maintain an open, secure and stable global supply chain. Meanwhile, countries should be against engaging in information and communications technology activities that impair or steal important data from other states' critical infrastructure.

If the US really cares about data security, it can publicly support this Chinese initiative or make similar commitments when promoting US companies and products, Zhao said.

Zhao emphasized that it is up to African countries and peoples to choose who to cooperate with, and it is not up to the US to dictate.

"We suggest the relevant officials of the US side, instead of spending time spreading lies and rumors and playing tricks, should start by correcting their mentality, earnestly respect the sovereignty of African countries, and do something to help African countries fight the pandemic and develop their economies," Zhao said.