The arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou by Canadian authorities at the behest of the U.S. government tells us that the old ways of doing business are over for China. Their days of feeding off American technology are numbered, and President Donald Trump isn’t pulling any punches. It’s about time.
Meng, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, is charged with circumventing U.S. sanctions against Iran by trading through subsidiary companies. It confirms what some American security officials have suspected for years: that Chinese corporations are the ultimate front for implementing the foreign-policy agenda of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
More Than a Great Company
The CCP leadership’s goal is to replace the United States as the predominant power in the world. But to confront and ultimately overtake America’s global position, China must do so on multiple fronts—financially, technologically, and militarily. Dominating the communications and networking verticals is a very effective way to achieve results across all those channels. That’s what makes the Huawei situation so compelling: It meets all of those criteria—and more.
Huawei isn’t just a great technology company; it’s a phenomenally successful one. In fact, it’s considered by some to be the “crown jewel” of China’s advanced tech industry. A global leader in electronic equipment and wireless communication components, Huawei rivals Apple in smartphone sales and is a global leader in the development and transition to 5G networking.
By going around U.S. sanctions, Huawei enabled Iran to receive critical technology transfers, as well as much-needed hundreds of millions of dollars from their transactions with the rogue Islamic regime.
China’s Anti-US Foreign Policy Agenda
Quite unlike the U.S. corporate experience, the most important Chinese business and technology companies are state-owned. Their activities are conducted in coordination with the foreign policy agenda of the CCP. That context puts Huawei’s actions in a much more nefarious light. Its violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran can be viewed as a direct challenge to America’s foreign policy with Iran.
But Huawei’s sanctions-violations charges are just the beginning. According to U.S. leaders, Huawei is actively involved in the theft of technology secrets from American companies and has been doing so for years. It’s been watched closely by U.S. authorities since at least 2016 and has recently been charged with technology theft from U.S. companies such as T-Mobile and others.
Some regard the technology giant’s true purpose as a data- and information-gathering apparatus for the Chinese government. As Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) points out in an article appearing in The Washington Post: “Huawei is a state-directed entity actively undermining America’s national security.”
Huawei certainly isn’t acting alone. Stealing U.S. technology is a policy decision from the very top of China’s regime; Huawei just leads the way. Chinese telecom supplier ZTE was also found to be involved in data theft, and in October 2018, Brussels authorities arrested a Chinese Ministry of State Security official for attempted theft of secret aviation data from U.S. defense contractors. China’s theft of U.S. technology and products is immensely damaging to America’s status as the dominant global economic and technology power. Theft from China alone reaches up to $600 billion per year—almost twice the U.S. annual trade deficit with China.
Stakes Couldn’t Be Higher
Furthermore, a recent report identified China as the main perpetrator in the theft of U.S. data and intellectual property (IP). China’s data-theft agenda is especially focused on biotechnology and quantum communications technology. It’s those sectors that will play a critical role in determining which nation will shape and dominate the next several decades of technology.
Worse, China isn’t merely a competitor on the international stage, but rather, a political and economic adversary out to fundamentally change the American-international order.
To that end, the Chinese foreign-policy agenda is one of actively waging war against all forms of American power. Huawei is at the forefront of those efforts. “The massive theft of American IP … threatens our nation’s security, as well as vitality,” said former Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair.
Sea Change in America Policy
That’s why the arrest of Meng and the U.S. government’s banning of all Huawei telecom and network equipment is so powerful. It demonstrates a sea change in several areas of United States’ policy toward China. It shows just how serious the U.S. government is in pushing back against China’s foreign-policy agenda of data and product theft. It also demonstrates that America won’t not turn a blind eye toward any nation—not even China—when it willfully assists a declared enemy of America.
What’s more, going forward, the Huawei affair puts added weight behind the president’s trade policies and his negotiating position. The arrest certainly caught China’s leaders off-guard and has left them wondering what Trump will do next. They are bewildered and confused, which should be an advantage to the United States.
And perhaps just as importantly, the actions signal a major shift in U.S.–Chinese relations. For China and the rest of the world, the arrest of the Huawei CFO and banning the company from doing business with the United States have shattered their globalist assumptions that enabled China’s rapid rise to the world’s top economic and technological levels in the first place.
James Gorrie is a writer based in Texas. He is the author of “The China Crisis.”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.