Washington abusing “national security” concept leads to insecurity for all

By groundlessly slinging mud at China, certain U.S. politicians are trying to convey an absurd idea that when America talks of national security, it is a national security concern, but when others mention security, it is not.

3 mins read
Protesters gather during the anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C., the United States, March 18, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)

When it comes to manipulating the “national security” concept, no country can rival the United States, an undeniable pro who plays well the victim card.

For quite some time, China hawks in Washington have been mounting a comprehensive smear campaign against Chinese personnel, tech giants, and the broader Chinese economy. The typical disinformation combo includes a “systemic rip-off by China,” “a threat to our national security,” and “rightful sanctions from the White House.”

Lately, while singing the blues about the Chinese economy, certain U.S. politicians compared the Chinese market to a potential minefield for foreign firms, sourly grumbling about China’s legitimate moves to combat espionage and defend national security.

What they were hinting at, is China’s recent sales ban on a U.S. memory chipmaker, which had failed a security review by China’s cyberspace regulator and was found to pose serious risks to China’s critical information infrastructure supply chains.

By groundlessly slinging mud at China, they are trying to convey an absurd idea that when America talks of national security, it is a national security concern, but when others mention security, it is not.

Ironically, it is the United States which has long been manipulating the concept of national security. The de-facto chief of economic coercion has repeatedly over-stretched this term as a pretext for abusing state power, having put more than 1,200 Chinese companies and individuals on various lists and subjected them to broad range of restrictions without any solid evidence of wrongdoing.

In recent years, the U.S. has been blurring the lines of national security with economic coercion so that it can invent excuses to rip others off. The U.S. sizable toolkit to hammer others includes such tactics as economic sanctions, market denials, asset freeze, government investigations and technology bans.

Now Washington’s fixation on manipulating this concept is getting acute. America’s list of national security threats seems to be getting uncontrollably longer. The White House is also actively coercing its allies to expand their sheets of security concerns in line with that of Washington’s.

Such national security maximalism of Washington has two features: one is that it can define what is a national security problem for the United States without any reliable evidence; the other is that it is increasingly ready to use those fabricated security concerns as a pretext for acts of containment against other countries.

While playing the victim, Washington has been cashing in on everyday scruples as national security to politicize or instrumentalize trade and tech issues, and to pressure and blackmail others to serve its geopolitical agendas. By leveraging its economic and technological clout, Washington can effectively coerce foreign companies into complying with its demands.

In fact, for America’s decision makers, any perceived potential challenge to the U.S. global dominance is a national security concern. China’s rise in the tech realm is naturally an eyesore.

The U.S. logic on China goes like this: I want your market, but you need to slow down tech development. Under the pretext of “national security,” Washington has blacklisted Chinese tech firms and imposed broad limits on selling advanced chip technologies to Chinese firms, coercing many of its allies into the tech blockade binge.

Such discriminatory and bullying practice seriously hampers normal trade, economic exchanges and cooperation, violates market rules and the international trade order, and disrupts global industrial and supply chain stability.

And now this “omnipresent” national security narrative is also biting on the U.S. economy. Business insiders have repeatedly warned that by abusing the tactic, the U.S. government may potentially hurt the industry, which it is seeking to protect, by effectively isolating it from global markets.

Committed to quality opening-up, China has been opening its door ever wider to global businesses as it walks a hard-won yet fine line between development and national security. China’s legitimate cybersecurity review does not target any particular countries or regions, nor does it seek to exclude technologies or products from any specific country.

The measures China recently rolled out are aimed at bolstering national security and creating a secure and stable environment necessary for its sustainable development, which would not only galvanize the growth of foreign companies but also optimize the overall business environment, while better safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of enterprises from all countries operating in China.

Numbers talk. The UN Conference on Trade and Development said in its World Investment Report 2023 that global foreign direct investment fell by 12 percent last year, while inflows to China rose by 5 percent to a record 189 billion U.S. dollars, mainly in manufacturing and high-tech industries.

And in the first half of this year, China saw a rapid increase of newly established foreign-invested enterprises. Some 24,000 new foreign firms were started in China during that period of time, marking a 35.7 percent rise year on year. Investments from developed countries like France, Britain and Germany went up by 173.3 percent.

However naysayers paint China, one thing is certain: China has been and will continue to be a growth engine and an attractive market that global investors cannot ignore. It has always been open to law-abiding foreign businesses who play fair.

Tainting the global economic and technological playing field does good to nobody.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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