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Government Watch / Keeping America Safe / Technology

Understanding China’s Threat – History to Huawei

China's

History teaches us lessons too soon forgotten.  Getting them into 800 words is hard.  In short, China’s strange, new ambition to control (or at least fully surveil) everything in cyberspace – what you read about as “back-doors” and uber-knowledge through deployment of “Huawei 5G” technology – is a serious concern.  Be clear:  This is a real national security threat.

Promotors of China say having a private mega-company controlling – seeing, hearing, transmitting, receiving, accelerating, decelerating, monitoring, managing, shaping the content of global communications – will be efficient, thoughtful, and altruistic.  Add dangerous.

Where does one begin?  One could start with George Orwell, who despised Communist suppression of individual freedom, and the human cruelty that inevitably follows totalitarian control – as night follows day.

It all begins with controlling information, what you know, do not know, think you know, are told you know, are not allowed to know, deceived into believing, coerced into doing, monitored and reminded that you are being monitored, and made unfree to do.  

As Orwell’s novel 1984 reminds us, if we are not vigilant, we end up subservient.  The creep of time is slow, but close of state control complete.  As Orwell’s characters learn late, once “Big Brother is watching you,” there is no escape.  Put differently, “he who controls the past, controls the future; he who controls the present controls the past.”  Information – knowing, shaping, manipulating – is power.

What is China up to?  Start with history.  China is neither democratic nor altruistic, historically.  They are imperial, today totalitarian Communist.  They systematically suppress religion, speech, press, association, freedom of thought – and have no compunction about repressive practices.  Means justify ends, and the end is control – power over the people.  Today, people controlled are Chinese, tomorrow they need not be Chinese.

China began in 1250 BC with the Shang dynasty, Yellow River valley.  After Zhou dynasty, imperial rule became the norm in 221 BC – and stayed the norm through Huang, Han, and later dynasties, including Qing which ended with a Republic of China in 1912, an experiment that crashed in 1949, with a dehumanizing communist state.  Altruistic?  Not quite.

How powerful would China’s information dominance be, if state-dominated Huawei got global control?  What would happen as it gradually asserted irreversible information superiority through 5-G communications, the ability to see and hear all things for all purposes at any time?  Want to guess?

Think back to World War II and the Allies’ “enigma” machine, that marvelous “ultra” designation that allowed us to foil Germany plans – of all kinds and at all times – because we had what over the Nazis?  Not any faster planes, better tanks or even V-2 rockets.  We had information superiority.  That was enough.   

Put differently, the top Communist country, now number two economy in the world, offers no apologies for stealing Western intellectual property, suppressing every freedom protected in our Bill of Rights – speech and worship to seizure and fair trail, is militarizing the South China Sea and Space, supports North Korea without compunction, derides US attempts to set fair trade.  That same country now wants control over global communications.  Concern you?

Maybe perspective helps.  Put aside China’s imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of citizens for faith, Christians to Muslims; put aside Amnesty International’s 2018 report of “more executions than the rest of the world combined;” put aside extreme surveillance of the Chinese people, biometric identification to voice recognition; put aside riots by 120,000 in Hong Kong against China for pushing extradition to the Communist mothership for doling punishments.

The real issue is information control – and what China does, once it gets that control.  Today, the People’s Republic of China – neither the “People’s” nor a “Republic” – is unabashed about hacking, manipulating, stealing, coercing, lying and misusing data. 

Think June 2015.  Obama was President.  China broke into the US Office of Personnel Management, which controls data on Americans with security clearances.  China stole 21.5 million highly sensitive, personal records.  Respect for information?  You tell me.

According to scholars, China today “censors all venues of media to maintain its monopoly on power and information …” using “sophisticated instruments of censorship and control … to prevent all potential sources of independent reporting.” 

China unapologetically practices covert and clandestine surveillance, theft, repression, coercion, disinformation, and ranks 159 of 167 countries on press freedom.”  Control runs from ubiquitous Internet censorship to “complete control over … 358 TV stations and 2,119 newspapers.” 

Back to letting the Chinese Government, through Huawei and Chinese 5G, have control over US, Western and allied information technology, back-doors, and global communications infrastructure – I ask you, what could go wrong?  Only everything, of course.

There should be ways to cooperate with China, to arrive at fairer, more equitable and mutually beneficial trade, but opening the door to Chinese control over the future of US communications and punting global 5G infrastructure to the Communist Chinese– is not one.

Remember George Orwell’s admonition:  It can get worse.  When it becomes bad enough, the options get thin.  In his world, he warned: “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”  After all, in his world and that of Communists: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery.  Ignorance is strength.”  And information is power.  Let’s not fall into that trap.

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Jack Thomas

It’s been said that information is power. As in George Orwell’s novel, “1984” those who controlled information also controlled every aspect of the common citizen’s life. The same is true today. The reality is the Red Chinese government wants to control everything it can within its own borders as well as globally. They’ll continue to use companies like Huawei to spy on foreign nations, especially the United States (and make no mistake, Huawei is Communist-run, state-owned with ties to their own military intelligence apparatus, no matter how Bejing tries to spin the story). We cannot trust Huawei to sell its mobile phones or other electronics products in America that may be embedded with surveillance software [‘spyware’]. This is why U.S. companies are now permitted to sell components to Huawei but cannot import their products into the United States. China must be cautiously regarded as a sleeping tiger whose behavior is… Read more »

Robin Zelmanovitz

The dumbing down of our educational system is already in progress. History is being revised and erased. The vagueness and duplicity of internet searches no matter what server is used is defeating and subtly terrifying. The rush to bring advanced electronics to the population followed by control of information tells me we are allowing ourselves to be reprogramed and monitored for mass control, public shame and exposure to bring compliance, and it all happens in a flash. We have to seek common sense and logic in the information “allowed to us”, we have to recognize when we are being denied the right to full truthful information, or are being manipulated. I was discussing a rather obscure military credit union with my Viet Nam veteran brother over the phone some time back and was immediately bombarded with ads for that business on every internet connection for three days. Wake-up call: even… Read more »

Peter

This is a perversion of what we already have here as Law and that is Affirmative Action.. What is happening with the Chinese is that Communism comes with a built in inferiority complex whereas the grass is greener and they’ve been left behind and are just “catching up” to where the should be and (most likely) what was stripped from them when they were “powerless” politically.. In Communist literature there is a thread discussing “dualism of power”, “bourgeois superstructure”.. What Communism teaches is that the Intelligentsia (Blacks know this “class” as “the illuminati”) running the “show” have a monopoly on “wisdom”.. To them “seat of power” is “seat of wisdom”.. From the outside looking in that is before the Revolution of 1917 it was typical for them to call this dynamic a “bourgois superstructure” or cosmetic difference but we’re seeing when in power they don’t shed this delusion of power… Read more »