The U.S. bans Huawei out of 'anti-competitiveness' concern
It's the escalation of the U.S.-China trade war and assault on the Chinese telecom giant Huawei that makes the headlines. Facing the U.S. pressure, Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei told the media on May 21 that "Huawei is fully prepared," and Huawei is still grateful for U.S. enterprises' contributions. But what are the underlying currents and attitudes that steer how the West and the U.S. specifically are now interacting with China? Could it be possible that the U.S. read China from a false assumption in the first place?
CGTN's Liu Xin talked to Professor Martin Jacques, visiting professor to Tsinghua University and author of the bestselling book "When China Rules the World."
Jacques made the point that the Achilles heel of the West is that it doesn't understand China. China is not merely a "nation-state," but a "civilization-state." Unlike the development paths of major Western countries in history, which took forms of military expansion or colonialism, China's vision of development follows more of a "stay-at-home" approach.
"China is going to be a very different great power to the U.S. I don't think China has ever historically laid the primary emphasis on military power. China has never been in that Western-sense of expansionism," he said.
According to a PWC report, by 2050, China will rise to the first place as the largest economy, and account for 20 percent of GDP, followed by India (15 percent) and the U.S. (12 percent). According to Jacques, in contrast to the continued growth of China, the U.S. has been in decline for quite a long time. "China's growth rate is roughly three times than that of the U.S. since the financial crisis, and the U.S. share of global GDP is declining," Jacques said.
Talking about the U.S. lockdown on Huawei, Professor Jacques said the U.S. is acting out of "competitiveness" concerns instead of security reasons as it had claimed.
"Essentially what they don't like (is that) Huawei is so successful. Who would have thought that ten years ago? In the West, we are still saying Chinese are great at copying, but not at innovating. That story you don't hear that now," Jacques argued, adding that "I don't believe Huawei poses a threat to security. What they are worried about is (that) Huawei is an extremely competitive company. It is for anti-competitiveness reasons rather for security reasons."
During his trip to London earlier this month, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech saying China is dividing the West through the use of technology and he called on the UK to resist Huawei to protect intelligent security.
"The only thing (in which) the U.S. reads China right is that they finally came around to the realization that China is a serious challenger to the U.S.," he said, "It will not be the same as the last Cold War. China is not the Soviet Union, and the U.S. is not a rising power but a declining power. It is not going to be a re-run of last one, but in the American's psyche when it comes to an adversary that threatens its hegemony, then they start thinking in old Cold War terms.
"If they don't believe you, they are not going to believe you. The fundamental problem in the West is that the West does not understand because the West has the belief that it is the universal model and all modernity should be like Western modernity," Jacques added.
Jacques concluded by encouraging people to come to China in person. "From that moment (on), they will never see the world the same way again."