‘Claws of the Red Dragon’ Seeks to Expose Huawei’s Role in Beijing’s Tech Ambitions

By Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Eva Fu
Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S. politics, U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at eva.fu@epochtimes.com
August 24, 2019Updated: August 26, 2019

A film set for release this fall seeks to shed light on the connection between Huawei Technologies—the world’s largest maker of telecommunications gear—and China’s ruling communist party.

The film, titled “Claws of the Red Dragon,” was inspired by the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver International Airport last year at the request of the U.S. government, and the subsequent deterioration of the Canada-China relationship. In what has widely been viewed as retaliation, the Chinese regime detained two Canadians and accused them of spying, while also sentencing another two Canadians to death for drug-related crimes.

Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, was charged by U.S. prosecutors with conspiracy and fraud in connection with violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. The U.S. government is currently seeking her extradition. Ren, who officially holds 1.4 percent of Huawei’s shares, has a background in the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

“Claws of the Red Dragon” attempts to expose “the inner workings of the [Chinese Communist Party] and Huawei,” said former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, one of the film’s executive producers.

“This is a very powerful film,” Bannon said in an interview with The Epoch Times’s program American Thought Leaders. “I think it opens up and explains in a dramatic form exactly what’s going on with China’s encroachment into the technology area throughout the world. People will be shocked.

“I’ve tested [it] here in the United States in Washington … tested it with some fairly senior people in the U.S. government, and they were stunned by some of the revelations in the film,” he added.

Bannon, who is currently the chairman of the Rule of Law Society and co-founder of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, said the film is significant, since it explores the looming threat the Chinese regime poses to the West through its global technological dominance ambitions.

“The backbone of the future of technology is 5G; [it] will be a dominant technology,” Bannon said. “Right now, the path that Huawei has taken as a front for the PLA is to basically take over the networks and the components throughout the world. If we allow this to happen, even for a couple of more years, Huawei is going to control basically the communications systems of the West and, therefore, will be able to control the West.”

President Donald Trump has deemed Huawei a “national security threat,” saying on Aug. 19 that “at this moment, it looks much more like we’re not going to do business.”

The company has been fighting a trade ban since May, amid the ongoing U.S.-Sino trade war. The ban has effectively blocked Huawei from doing business with U.S. companies without a special license.

U.S. officials have repeatedly voiced strong concerns that Huawei’s equipment could be used by the Chinese regime for spying, given the company’s close ties to Beijing.

A recent study found that about 100 Huawei staffers had links to Chinese military or intelligence agencies. The firm’s former CEO, Sun Yafang, also worked for China’s top espionage agency, the Ministry of State Security, before joining the company.

Research conducted by cybersecurity firm Finite State in June found more than 102 known vulnerabilities among the 550 Huawei devices examined, exposing users to security risks.

The Trump administration has also barred Huawei from building U.S. next-generation 5G networks over national-security concerns, and has cautioned U.S. allies against working with Huawei.

So far, the United States has blacklisted more than 100 Huawei affiliates. Officials granted a 90-day extension on Aug. 19 that allows the firm to buy U.S. products, while giving U.S. companies more time to transition away from doing business with Huawei.

“We’ve been very clear with Canada and with all of our allies that we consider Huawei incompatible with the security interests of the United States of America or our allies in freedom-loving nations across the world,” Vice President Mike Pence said during a May press conference in Ottawa, Canada.

The film will be distributed by Epoch Times affiliate NTD and stars Dorren Lee, Taras Lavren, and Eric Peterson.