Continuing with its aggressive posturing against China, the United States has now accused China of trying to topple US as the world’s superpower.
In a no holds barred attack on China and its ulterior expansionist motives, US Attorney General William P Barr said Xi Jingping’s China is now engaged in an “economic blitzkrieg” which involves an “aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government campaign” to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and “to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower”. Barr was delivering a speech at the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum and Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) July 16, 2020
To drive home the point further, Barr highlighted Communist Party of China’s “Made in China 2025” initiative, which he said is a “plan for PRC domination of high-tech industries like robotics, advanced information technology, aviation, and electric vehicles. Backed by hundreds of billions of dollars in subsidies, this initiative poses a real threat to U.S. technological leadership”. He said that the ultimate ambition of the Chinese rulers isn’t to trade with the US but to raid United States.
The Attorney General also highlighted China’s calculative designs in trying to tilt the world trade scales in its favour. “China’s communist government has perfected a wide array of predatory and often unlawful tactics: currency manipulation, tariffs, quotas, state-led strategic investment and acquisitions, theft and forced transfer of intellectual property, state subsidies, dumping, cyberattacks, and espionage,” Barr said.
Continuing with his blistering attack, Barr accused US tech giants including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Yahoo as well as Hollywood of becoming “pawns” of Chinese influence.
“All too often, for the sake of short-term profits, American companies have succumbed to that influence—even at the expense of freedom and openness in the United States,” he said, adding, “Over the years, corporations such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple have shown themselves all too willing to collaborate with the CCP. For example, Apple recently removed the news app Quartz from its app store in China, after the Chinese government complained about coverage of the Hong Kong democracy protests.”
During a speech today, Attorney General William Barr echoed #FBI Director Christopher Wray’s recent remarks on the threat posed by the Chinese government’s use of unlawful tactics, including cyberattacks, extortion, and theft. @TheJusticeDept https://t.co/zcPwRETq5O pic.twitter.com/5yRJRfkuwr
— FBI (@FBI) July 16, 2020
Explaining his point further, he said, “Apple also removed apps for virtual private networks, which had allowed users to circumvent the Great Firewall, and eliminated pro-democracy songs from its Chinese music store. Meanwhile, the company announced that it would be transferring some of its iCloud data to servers in China, despite concerns that the move would give the CCP easier access to e-mails, text messages, and other user information stored in the cloud.”
He also drew attention to censorship in Hollywood movies to suit Chinese interests. “Hollywood actors, producers, and directors pride themselves on celebrating freedom and the human spirit. And every year at the Academy Awards, Americans are lectured about how this country falls short of Hollywood’s ideals of social justice. But Hollywood now regularly censors its own movies to appease the Chinese Communist Party, the world’s most powerful violator of human rights. This censorship infects not only versions of movies that are released in China, but also many that are shown in American theaters to American audiences,” Barr added.
He also reminded America of China’s crackdown in Hong Kong and its ruthlessness in trying to suppress pro-democracy voices. “As its ruthless crackdown of Hong Kong demonstrates once again, China is no closer to democracy today than it was in 1989 when tanks confronted pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square. It remains an authoritarian, one-party state in which the Communist Party wields absolute power, unchecked by popular elections, the rule of law, or an independent judiciary,” he said.
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