US lawmakers' concerns on UAE company's cooperation with China indicate paranoia over nation's tech rise: analysts
Published: Jan 11, 2024 09:21 PM
AI Photo:VCG

AI Photo:VCG

In a move that indicates Washington's paranoia over China's technology rise, a US Congressional committee has asked the Commerce Department to look into whether a United Arab Emirates (UAE) technology company should be put under trade restrictions due to its reported ties to China.

Observers said such moves showcase some US politicians' paranoia over China's technology rise, and will hinder normal global business cooperation and delay artificial intelligence (AI) development in the UAE.

In a letter sent to the US Commerce Department, the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Communist Party of China said that the UAE company, G42, works extensively with China's "military, intelligence services and state-owned entities," reported the New York Times on Thursday, citing a copy it obtained. 

Officials in the Biden administration have privately expressed similar concerns about the company, which they fear could be "a conduit by which advanced US technology is siphoned to Chinese companies or the government," The New York Times previously reported in November.

The US has sabotaged cooperation between Chinese companies and those in other countries on multiple occasions on hypothetical pretexts, which is economic coercion, Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in response to US concerns about G42's cooperation with Chinese counterparts in November last year.

"China always opposes the US overstretching the concept of national security, politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade issues or approaching them from an untenable security angle, and obstructing normal investment in the industrial community and private sector. 

"Such moves by the US undermine international economic order and trade rules and threaten the stability of global industry and supply chains. Those attempts find little support and will not get anywhere," the spokesperson said.

G42, which specializes in AI and other emerging technologies, is overseen by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed, the national security adviser of the UAE.

Washington is fretting over China's technology rise, from chips to AI, and it aims to curb China's technology advance by using long-arm jurisdiction on a third-country company like G42, Ma Jihua, a veteran industry analyst, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"It wants to create a chilling effect by cracking down on companies that cooperate with China, making other companies and countries afraid of cooperating with China," Ma said.

China, the US and other countries jointly signed a declaration on the development of AI in November, in which they agreed to work together on AI security. China and the US also agreed to start China-US government talks on AI in San Francisco in mid-November 2023.

In the field of AI, the US knows that cooperation with China is the only way forward, but it hopes that this cooperation will be under its leadership, with research and development and rules that it formulated, Ma noted.

But the US believes Chinese companies' rise in the sector is threatening that leadership, and that's why it intensifies sanctions on China, Ma said.

Global Times