By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Senior Reporter
CHINA’S embassy in Nassau has accused the United States of “abusing” its power through a decision that prohibits American embassies from doing business with companies that use equipment manufactured by some Chinese manufacturers.
The US Federal Communications Commission on June 30 designated several Chinese telecommunication firms as national security threats, cutting off companies like Huawei and ZTE from billions of dollars in US subsidies because of their close association with the Chinese Communist Party.
Companies in the Bahamas that provide services to the US Embassy in Nassau are now required to disclose their manufacturers.
The Tribune recently received a letter from the US Embassy requesting it disclose equipment manufacturer information.
The implications of the US move in The Bahamas are unclear. Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) and other local businesses have declined to comment on the matter.
Yin Haigang, the counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, said yesterday “China deplores and firmly opposes the US practice of taking discriminatory and unfair measures on certain Chinese companies based on its domestic legislation. For a period of time, the US has abused its state power and used every possible means to smear and oppress certain Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE. Meanwhile, the US has been pressuring other countries to exclude Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies.”
He added: “The allegations about the Chinese companies have no factual basis at all. The US claims that Huawei threatens US national security. But let’s take a look at the facts. Over the past 30 years, Huawei has developed over 1,500 networks in more than 170 countries and regions, having 228 Fortune 500 companies as clients and serving more than three billion people all over the world. Not a single cybersecurity incident like those revealed by Edward Snowden or WikiLeaks has there been. Not a single tapping or surveillance operation like PRISM, Equation Group or ECHELON has there been. And not a single country has produced evidence of any backdoors in Huawei products.”
The New York Times reported in June that “American officials have pushed countries around the world not to use Huawei’s networking equipment in their next-generation, or 5G, wireless networks.”
The Chinese counsellor said: “Some American politicians have been incessantly pressuring other countries, making uninvited comments about their 5G development and openly coercing them into following its own will. This is hegemony in full display. The real reason behind the animosity of the US towards Chinese companies has nothing to do with national security or democracy, freedoms or fairness. It’s just because they are Chinese companies and also front runners in their lines of business.
“We urge the US to abandon its Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, stop politicising trade issues and oppressing Chinese companies. We hope all countries will commit to uphold a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment and reject nationality discrimination in global scientific and trade cooperation as firmly as they reject racism.”