Shenzhen TV: We noted that during her recent visit to Africa, US Assistant Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said that when a country chooses Huawei, it gives up its sovereignty. They hand over their data to another country and subject themselves to surveillance without realizing it. What is your comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: This US official’s baseless disparaging remarks on China only serve to expose the US’ malicious attempt to contain China and sow discord in China-Africa cooperation. Chinese enterprises, including Huawei, have conducted healthy and mutually beneficial cooperation with many countries in Africa and beyond, benefited from the improvement and development of these countries’ communication infrastructure, provided advanced services, quality, safe and affordable to local people and are well received. And there hasn’t been a single incident of cybersecurity, surveillance, or wiretapping in the co-op.
The Chinese government unequivocally opposes the mass surveillance of other countries through the misuse of information technology. In China’s proposed Global Data Security Initiative, we ask IT companies not to install backdoors in their products and services. Countries should not directly access data held in other countries through companies or individuals. If the United States really cares about data security, it can openly support China’s initiative or make similar commitments when advertising American companies and products.
I would also like to emphasize that it is up to the countries and peoples of Africa to decide with whom they choose to cooperate. The United States is not in a position to talk down. A few questions to some US officials: Has the US respected the sovereignty of African countries and the right to privacy, and considered the security of other countries when conducting, in a planned and organized, long-running cyber-theft, surveillance and eavesdropping operations against foreign governments, companies and individuals, including those in Africa? Did the United States respect the sovereignty of African countries when it grossly interfered in the internal affairs of African countries like Ethiopia and Zimbabwe and imposed unilateral and illegal sanctions? Did the United States respect the sovereignty of African countries when it attached many political conditions to African exports to the United States? The international community, including African countries, has long understood that the United States has never considered Africa an equal partner of cooperation, nor has it truly cared about the well-being of Africans.
We urge some US officials to first adopt a correct attitude, do their part to sincerely respect the sovereignty of African countries, and do something concrete to help African countries fight the pandemic and develop their savings, instead of wasting time spreading rumors and lies or playing robbed thief.
Source: May 9, 2022 press conference held by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian