Picture above is ZTE’s international corporate headquarters, not far from where I live in Shenzhen. Above is the third title I gave for this article. The first two are just as apropos: ZTE is Uncle Sam’s latest bullet to the brain, hastening the West’s slow suicide, and ZTE- you can’t keep a good communist-socialist company down.
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[dropcap] L [/dropcap]ast week, the United States banned ZTE, a Chinese telecommunications company, from importing anything from the US for seven years (https://www.commerce.gov/sites/commerce.gov/files/zte_denial_order.pdf). Why? Because ZTE supposedly did business with Iran – again, contrary to the US’s illegal sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Thirteen months ago, Uncle Sam extorted a record $1.2 billion out of ZTE for doing business with Iran, as if it should matter (http://www.scmp.com/tech/china-tech/article/2076867/chinas-zte-pay-record-us12bn-fine-violating-iran-north-korea).
This whole story is a point of local pride for me. ZTE is a Shenzhen company. I drive by their corporate headquarters and see their modern tower in the central business district. While not a huge business by Fortune 500 standards, it is one of the most successful telecommunications companies in the world. ZTE is also a state-owned enterprise (SOE), meaning 100% commie-red, which one of my alternate titles alludes to.
Within hours of the US’s announcement, Baba Beijing (China’s leadership) was conducting high level meetings in Shenzhen and the capital, to discuss the total ban’s implications (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-chips-exclusive/exclusive-china-looks-to-speed-up-chip-plans-as-u-s-trade-tensions-boil-sources-idUSKBN1HQ1QP). In the public sphere, the national media are subdued, but resolute (http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0419/c90000-9451570.html and http://szdaily.sznews.com/PC/content/201804/20/content_348538.html). In the Chinese language press, the tone has been more defiant and patriotic, calling it trade blackmail (http://opinion.china.com.cn/opinion_33_184133.html), which is of course true.
Even if ZTE were 100% private, Baba Beijing would not allow a company of such strategic importance to the country’s plans to fail. Those plans are next year’s huge rollout for the nationwide 5G mobile phone network, which will be the biggest on earth starting Day One. ZTE is at the cutting edge of 5G innovation, research & development and is thus critical to China’s future in connectivity and telecommunications. ZTE’s global leadership in a key 21st century sector, along with being a commie SOE, may partially explain Washington’s keen desire to kill it, for both competitive (http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/16/technology/china-united-states-5g-technology-study/index.html) and ideological reasons.
It helps to know what ZTE’s name means in Chinese. Its full name is 中兴通讯. The first two characters，zhōngxìng mean Chinese National Resurgence or Chinese National Rejuvenation. The last two characters, tōngxùn mean Communication. It’s the same theme of Chinese Road to Rejuvenation, a hugely popular exhibit at the National Museum in Beijing. It starts at the country’s nadir, 1839, when Britain humiliated one-fourth of humanity, by forcing them to import unlimited quantities of illegal drug cartel opium, payable only in gold and silver, thus ruining the country until communist liberation in 1949. Of course, the United States and Europe joined in the colonial rape of the country, then later Japan, which lasted for a total of 110 years.
Soon after Xi Jinping was elected president, he toured the Chinese Road to Rejuvenation exhibit in Beijing, came out and announced his concept of the Chinese Dream for his 1.4 billion citizens, and we would soon realize, for the whole world (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/05/19/the-china-trilogy/).
Given all this critically important historical and symbolic context, how important is an SOE named with the theme of the Chinese people rising up again – against Eurangloland (NATO, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Israel)? Does this help explain Washington’s zealous efforts to destroy ZTE?
Five-G needs billions of computer, relay and phone microchips and ZTE was buying many, if not most of these from the United States. Not having that source anymore will definitely set ZTE back in the short term, as it looks for other sources, both nationally and internationally (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-zte/chinas-zte-slams-u-s-ban-says-companys-survival-at-risk-idUSKBN1HR085). Internationally, unless Europe plays its usual poodle-on-a-leash position and heels to Uncle Sam’s threats and extortion to also refuse exports to China, which is a very real possibility (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-zte/chinas-zte-slams-u-s-ban-says-companys-survival-at-risk-idUSKBN1HR085).
In the long term, what the Trump administration did may be the best thing that ever happened to China. A good comparison is Russia, where the equally ridiculous and illegal bans, boycotts and sanctions have turbocharged Big Bear’s financial sector, agriculture, hydrocarbons, manufacturing and industries. Western extortion can make smaller countries’ people really suffer and die from all the shortages, especially those with concentrated production in only one or two sectors. That is the case for Cuba (sugar), Iraq, Iran and Venezuela (hydrocarbons), and North Korea (mining and heavy industry). What the US is trying to do to strangle Russia has been a colossal miscalculation and what it has just done to ZTE will prove to be just as devastating – not to China – but to the West.
Here’s what’s going to happen. Two years ago, President Xi Jinping presciently told the country that China needed to become self-sufficient in cybersecurity and information/telecommunication technology (https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/speech-at-the-work-conference-for-cybersecurity-and-informatization/). Maybe Xi had a sixth sense, but Trump & Co. have played a masterful stroke right into Xi’s hands, and the West had better get ready. Xi has been pounding the pavement telling his government and citizens that their 21st century success depends on core technology and now the nation’s missile launcher has been loaded to turbocharge that success, thanks to Washington, DC (http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0419/c90000-9451186.html). The Chinese Road to Resurgence couldn’t be any clearer now.
Baba Beijing will declare this case to be an aggressive, imperial shot across its bow, to blow the clarion horns of urgency: NO MORE ZTE’s! The Chinese will develop a huge, nationwide Manhattan Project to make China self-sufficient in mass produced microchips (http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0418/c90000-9450837.html). China already makes the best supercomputer processors, driving the world’s fastest number-crunching machines. In fact, China is way ahead of Eurangloland in speed and total numbers of supercomputers (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/11/30/do-you-see-what-i-see-depends-on-where-you-look-china-rising-radio-sinoland-171130/). So, the Chinese know how to make the best specialized, custom computer processors, but have relied for decades on low cost, Western mass-produced microchips, for phones, PCs, appliances, home electronics and the like. The Chinese have the high tech part down. Now they need to ramp up high volume production.
Thanks to the fear, arrogance and hubris of US empire, this supply chain problem is going to be solved right here in China, including Shenzhen, now much sooner than later, and Uncle Sam and the rest of Eurangloland will end up screwing themselves royally in the backside. Just like Russia is now out-competing the West in grain exports (https://www.rt.com/business/419194-russia-grain-export-record/), in a few short years, China will be flooding the world market with superior, cheaper, mass-produced microchips. It’s going to hit Eurangloland like a high-speed Sino-train going a thousand kilometers an hour, screaming, NO MORE ZTE’s!
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