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Op-ed: US refusal to competition impedes development, leads to failure

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)    08:39, May 27, 2019

If a cause is beneficial to society, it should be granted free development and broad competition, and the freer and broader the competition is, the more beneficial the cause would be to society. What Adam Smith says in the Wealth of Nations is still applicable to today’s world where economic globalization is going through in-depth development.

However, it is shocking that some US politicians, worshiping technological hegemonism, are going against the trend of time, trying to narrow the space for international cooperation by refusing competitions. Their practices infringed upon the legitimate right of other countries to develop.

Recently, the US government abused national power and frequently turned its gun toward Chinese high-tech enterprises that have climbed to the top of the world through hard work including Huawei. It banned Huawei from participating in the US construction of telecommunication equipment, especially 5G equipment with fabricated reasons such as the so-called theft of secrets and national security.

The US administration later placed Huawei on the “Entity List”, forcing many American companies to cut supplies for the Chinese tech firm. Through the “presumption of denial”, it exerted extreme pressure on Huawei by national power, and even requested relevant enterprises to contain the latter. Such practice is totally unreasonable and overbearing.

As a major technological and economic power in the world, the US should have understood the law of technological development and the benefit of market competition. However, the US politicians, ignoring such common sense on purpose, have made frequent attempts to interfere with technological cooperation and market competition.

They resort to “national security” because they couldn’t find better excuses, which indicated the fragility of the largest tech power whose “national security” is opposed to threats so easily.

It’s obvious that what the US really intends to do under the banner of the “national security” is to contain the development of China’s technology, so as to win more space and time for its own companies to gain monopoly in the global competition of 5G technology and the international division of labor.

Such plot exactly exposed the hegemonic philosophy of the Uncle Sam that only allows itself to develop and refuses to accept the progress of the others. The practice indicated the supremacy that the US has always enjoyed as the only dominator of the world.

There’s an old saying in China that strong men can conquer themselves. The best way to face competition is never containing the rivals, but improving self-capabilities. To maintain the leading position in technology, the US should make efforts to upgrade domestic enterprises and enhance their competitiveness.

However, some Americans, represented by former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, talked nonsense that China presents “the greatest existential danger” ever to the US and “When China wants to supplant US dominance in an emerging industry, it acts rapaciously – it steals.” There is also voice in the US that “The race for 5G is on, and America must win.”

As a matter of fact, by containing its rivals and cutting win-win cooperation with such mean approaches, the US will not see any progress made in its information technology, but only its enterprises being forced to use outdated and expensive substitutes, as well as slower steps in 5G construction.

These unconventional methods can serve as a temporary “protecting umbrella”, but will never bring tangible development.

A Scottish philosopher once compared “noble emulation” to the “source of every excellence”. The fundamental feature of market economy is emulation.

A fair environment for competition can constantly stimulate the energy of market entities, facilitate the orderly flow of production factors, effective allocation of resources, and in-depth integration of markets, as well as promote the high-quality development of economy.

It was through healthy competition that US carmakers Ford and General Motors both rose to fame and made remarkable achievements for the US auto industry at the beginning of the last century.

The US, boasting its free competition and market economy, is taking competition so irrationally and ignoring international trade rules. How can it keep its credibility in the international society as it upholds trade protectionism and contains tech companies of other countries?

The US refusal to competition impedes progress. Containing rivals won’t help itself maintain dominance, and it would not stay at an invincible position by adopting unconventional approaches either.

The hegemonic US politicians should try to figure out why the US firms in the Silicon Valley are still sparing no efforts to make shipments to China before the Huawei ban takes effect despite the US attempts to stop Chinese companies from participating in global competition.

They should also try to understand why global countries are still choosing to cooperate with Huawei despite the US-fabricated stories tarnishing the company.

The reason, which is quite simple, is that cooperation leads to win-win situation that can enlarge the cake of interests for each party involved, and refusal to competition would only impact the global supply chain and create unnecessary risks for world economy.

Decades ago, China broke the western blockade and made its own nuclear bombs, intercontinental ballistic missile, and artificial satellite. Today, the country’s steps of technological innovation still won’t be stopped by the disturbance from US politicians.

The attempts to stop the strong impetus of China’s progress by hegemony or infringe upon the legitimate right of the country’s development by blockade are destined to fail.

The trend of history is irreversible, and the mean approaches of the US will not help it maintain the leading position.

(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy) 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Liang Jun)

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