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Washington steps up anti-China campaign with ‘Clean Network’ project

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has launched the ‘Clean Network’ initiative which aims to effectively sever all connections between China and the US in the telecoms and tech world.

“We call on all freedom loving countries and companies to join the clean network,” Pompeo said in a press conference yesterday (August 6).

Split into five separate initiatives, the ‘Clean Network’ is seemingly attempted to drive a wedge between the telecoms and technology industries of the US and China. It is the latest strategy from the US to combat Chinese success in the global economy and pushes the world further towards separation.

It is becoming increasingly likely there will be two separate economies in the world, one which revolves around the US and the other with China at the centre. With increasing animosity between the two nations, it would perhaps not be surprising to see no overlap; countries and companies might have to choose which to support.

The five areas of focus for the US Government will be as follows:

  • Clean Carrier: Pompeo has urged politicians to place pressure on the FCC to remove licences granted to China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet. The licences allow the Chinese telecoms operators to work with corporations to move data between the US and other nations
  • Clean Store: The US Government will attempt to cleanse app stores in the US from any application where the developer has a parent company based in China
  • Clean Apps: Pompeo has called on all US developers to remove their applications from Chinese smartphones and ecosystems, such as the Huawei OS which it is building as an alternative to Android. This order would also extend to the likes of OnePlus, Xiaomi, OPPO and ZTE.
  • Clean Cloud: The State Department will attempt to inhibit the commercial capabilities of Chinese cloud companies in the US. Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent are companies specifically mentioned by Pompeo
  • Clean Cable: Finally, the US will attempt to inhibit the ability of Huawei Marine to provide subsea cables, as well as convincing other nations and companies not to use suppliers who are Chinese or have Chinese parent companies

This is one of the comprehensive attacks from the US on the Chinese telecoms and technology industry, cutting major supply lines for Huawei but also extending the aggression to other national champions.

While tension between the US and China is nothing new, this has the potential to force a separation between the two. It would force US companies to break ties with China, an anti-globalisation strategy. When isolationist policies are introduced, no one benefits in the long run, it is a net loss play. And this could be viewed as the first step in forcing a divide in the global telecoms and technology economy.


13 comments

  1. Avatar Dr David Wong 06/08/2020 @ 12:28 pm

    I think it’s inaccurate to term this as an ‘anti-China campaign.’ There should always be a distinction between China, the place and the people and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the PRC. The US has excellent relations with Taiwan (ROC), also a Chinese entity, but not ruled by the CCP.

    There’s clearly a problem with telco or tech firms having close connections with the CCP. The CCP is a highly sophisticated surveillance state which profiles its citizens in a particularly Orwellian way. Through its social credit system, if one commits a misdemeanour such as criticising the CCP, one may be not be able to buy a train ticket or even receive healthcare. Western tech companies may also be intrusive in some aspects, but Mainland Chinese ones take it to the next level owing to the fact they are compelled to integrate their tech into whatever situation the state tells them to deploy it in. For instance, Huawei and Hikvision kit is deployed in the so-called ‘re-education’ (read concentration camps) in Xinjiang.

    I am not a fan of the Trump administration generally speaking and I think such policies outlined by Pompeo for a ‘clean network’ may be rather drastic. However, while Mainland China has its ‘great firewall’ where the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are banned without a VPN (and getting caught with one could land you in jail), it is difficult to see how there can be an equal playing field on the internet. The CCP should take a leaf out of Taiwan’s book, democratise the internet, have more faith and trust in Chinese citizens and we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.

    • Avatar ladakhchina 06/08/2020 @ 3:15 pm

      no you dont have the correct way to think.usa india japan uk canada all the evil place can not stop strong china development.yiu know china have so many people.the internet have too many information people only need know the small thing.china govenment very kind to stop the evil propaganda of western country.douyin tik tok have no problem it help the development of the young people can help learn the right way to think.

    • Avatar Sam 06/08/2020 @ 6:39 pm

      Shame on you against your own kind you what do you know about CCP anyway but I know what is CIA they worse than terrorist
      By the way Wong wong sounds like dog name

    • Avatar zhongguodiyi88 07/08/2020 @ 11:42 am

      You are a disgusting traitor dog wong wong. American British and Canada born Chinese betray there roots. They are no good theyre only use is to be the running dogs for evil terrorist western countries. They look chinese but in reality they have the white heart.

    • Avatar Richard 07/08/2020 @ 2:25 pm

      The US prefers that the world be spied on by the US, and any other country. Have you heard of Five Eyes, Echelon, Prism, Crypto ! And there will always be the European puppies to obey.

    • Avatar Jialun 08/08/2020 @ 4:27 pm

      Lol typical response from a Brainwashed western educated banana, using the old tried “ we don’t hate Chinese, only the CCP” garbage. Yeah, it’s ok for China to make shoes and clothing for us, but high tech stuff? No no no, you Chinese only deserve to be our workslaves, not our tech leaders, or any leading edge for that matter, does not fit our notion of good Chinese country! Let’s face it, if US style system of “democracy, freedom and capitalism “ will make China richer and stronger, would US really push China to adopt US style “ democracy, freedom and capitalism “. Lol. Just to show, because you are a “Dr” does not mean you are capable of critical thinking. If you are a medical doctor, good luck to your patients!

  2. Avatar reg weiser 06/08/2020 @ 2:42 pm

    Totally agree. This would not be required if China played fair and gave Western firms equal opportunity,

    This is an essential policy. Better with half a lunch than to have your entire lunch eaten by China over time.

  3. Avatar john 06/08/2020 @ 11:57 pm

    It is bad for everyone, eventually we all have to pay more and get less. If one side did something not right, it is wise not to follow that. We are in the same boat, and don’t do silly things to each other. history shows fair competition is the best way for everyone. Using power without control will be shorting oneself.

  4. Avatar Jerome 07/08/2020 @ 5:42 am

    Telecoms always echo pompeo groundless anti-china message, in my opinion, is shameful. Does telecoms not knowing network under cia scrutiny is the most dirtiest one, for example, Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel phone got hacked and listened by CIA for a decade, did telecom mentioned a word on it.

    Wong won is a great divider, he claimed chinese people and ccp are two different thing, it is quiet different before, but not now after trump’s taking office because people are united strongly with their goverment let along one fouth of them are CCP.
    Wong won always sabotage china and claim he has chinese origin, he is a banana, a yellow skin but with white but dirty pompeo heart. I always criticized china but i will not sabotage it. In his words, all china deeds are evil even BRI, exactly same as pompeo.

  5. Avatar Craig H 07/08/2020 @ 6:00 pm

    The claim that this is an isolationist policy is inaccurate. This is a case of a vendor being fired by its largest customer for being a terrible vendor. The list of atrocities, thefts, murders is massive.

  6. Avatar George Louie 07/08/2020 @ 9:28 pm

    I agree, Dr Wong. The CCP is an evil entity bent on world domination, as it has dominated it’s citizenry’s thinking. As for your attackers (and soon, mine), if they haven’t been to heaven they don’t know they’re in hell.

  7. Avatar Randy 10/08/2020 @ 4:14 am

    It seems China have intrude this article too. They attacking ballantly even critics of a non Chinese.This show how much they are willing to take criticism. So what next ?

  8. Avatar Kasumi Ogawa 19/08/2020 @ 12:17 am

    ‘Clean Network’ is 100% necessary for every human in the world.

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