The U.S. Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese technology companies that it said provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally. Companies affected by the action taken on earlier this month include Huawei, described by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China. He said that certain Huawei employees provide material support to the Chinese Communist Party regime that commits human rights abuses.
“The United States has long been a beacon of hope for the world’s most oppressed peoples and a voice for those who have been silenced,” Pompeo said in a news release. “We have been especially vocal about the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses, which rank among the worst in the world.”
Pompeo cited his authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which says that an alien is not admissible to the United States if the secretary of state has reason to believe the alien’s entry would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.
“Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers,” Pompeo said.
During a press conference conducted at the State Department the day before, Pompeo said that President Donald Trump had signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and announced a series of actions through a presidential executive order.
“As he said in May, if China treats Hong Kong as one country in a single system, so must we,” Pompeo said. “General Secretary Xi Jinping made a choice to violate the Chinese Communist Party’s promises to Hong Kong that were made in a UN-registered treaty. He didn’t have to do that. He made that choice. We have to deal with China as it is, not as we wish it to be. “
The secretary of state said that other nations are arriving at the same conclusion. He gave as examples Australia and Canada, which have suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.
Pompeo announced that he is leaving on July 20 for visits to the United Kingdom and Denmark. “I am sure that the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to free peoples around the world will be high on top of that agenda,” he said. “We certainly will take time to discuss the UK’s commendable decision to ban Huawei gear from its 5G networks and phase out the equipment from its existing networks. The UK joins the United States and now many other democracies in becoming clean countries: nations free of untrusted 5G vendors. In the same way, many major telecom companies like Telefonica, Telecom Italia and NTT have become clean carriers.”
During a Chinese Foreign Ministry press conference on July 16, a reporter for Beijing Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party’s Beijing Municipal Committee, asked ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying to comment about what Pompeo said about democracies becoming “clean countries” by excluding Huawei and other untrusted vendors.
“American companies Cisco and Apple admitted years ago that there are security loopholes and backdoors in their equipment,” Hua said. “U.S. intelligence has long been running indiscriminate, illegal surveillance programs on foreign governments, businesses and individuals including those of its allies. Even American citizens don’t have any secrets. These are open facts.”
However, she said, Huawei has been providing services in more than 170 countries, and no country has presented any evidence showing security threats or backdoors in Huawei products. She gave as example Huawei funding and other support of a cyber security testing center in the United Kingdom, opening itself to testing by UK experts and being willing to sign no-backdoor agreements with all countries.
“Can any other business in any other country do this?” she asked. “Will Apple or Cisco offer to do the same, setting up a security center, opening itself to testing and standing ready to sign no-backdoor agreements? Can any U.S. company match Huawei on such transparency? It makes one laugh to hear Pompeo to accuse Huawei of being not clean.”
Although the United States boasts of its strong democracy, freedoms and values, Hua said, now it will not allow a foreign private company to live and prosper. “Huawei is a successful private company,” she said. “Its only fault in the eyes of the United States is that it’s a Chinese company, right? Driven by strong ideological bias, the United States went so far as to employ national resources, abuse national security and use democracy and values as a cover to align its minions to smear, attack and repress the Chinese company. This is the very opposite of being clean. They are playing real dirty tricks.”
About the United States imposing visa restrictions on Chinese technology company employees because, Pompeo said, the companies provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally, Hua said the United States is actually the world’s number one human rights abuser. She said the U.S. human rights allegation on Xinjiang-related issues is the “lie of the century.”
“The United States should feel ashamed of having a senior official who tells such monstrous lies on this issue,” Hua said. “If Mr. Pompeo has the sincerity, he is welcome to visit Xinjiang, talk with the people living there and also get a grasp on how people in Xinjiang feel about him.”