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China’s Foreign Ministry Responds Strongly to Pompeo’s ‘Clean Path’ Decoupling Program

Aug. 7, 2020 (EIRNS)—China’s Foreign Ministry responded very strongly to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Aug. 5 press statement in which he presented his five-point program called Clean Path, which would cut all Chinese communication systems in or with the U.S., and worse: It can be read as a declaration of decoupling and economic warfare, leading to military confrontation, if Pompeo were allowed to carry it out.

Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin replied to a question from AFP on Clean Path at his Aug. 6 press briefing:

“Pompeo and his likes have time and again abused state power to bring down Chinese high-tech companies under the pretext of national security, to which China is firmly opposed. The U.S. practice has no factual basis at all and is sheer malicious slander and political manipulation in an attempt to maintain its high-tech monopoly. This is a typical hegemonic behavior that runs against market principles and international trade rules and severely threatens the security of global industrial and supply chains.

“I want to stress that many Chinese companies subject to U.S. unilateral sanctions are innocent, who just provide safe technologies and products. Not a single cybersecurity incident like those revealed by Edward Snowden or WikiLeaks has there been, still less a single tapping or surveillance operation like PRISM, Equation Group or ECHELON. It is preposterous for the dirty-handed U.S. to preach a ‘clean network.’

“We urge the U.S. to rectify its wrongdoing, create conditions for the normal trade and economic cooperation between companies from different countries and restore a free, open and safe cyberspace to the world. China stands ready to continuously work with other countries to safeguard a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment, promote international science and technology exchange and cooperation and ensure that safe, reliable and high-quality information technology will serve as an emerging driving force for global economic recovery and better life for people around the globe.”

Wang’s reference to ECHELON brings up the irony of Pompeo’s calling his program “clean.” Project ECHELON was a top-secret NSA/GCHQ program, for automated mass surveillance, run by the Five Eyes intelligence services—Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.— which Edward Snowden exposed, and about which former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney has quite a bit to say. It appears that Pompeo wants to preserve that system, while escalating toward a military showdown with China.

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