Bolton commented Tuesday on a bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Tom Cotton and Chris Van Hollen claiming the US government is “entitled” to prevent Chinese tech company Huawei from selling its products in the US, The Daily Caller reported.
Speaking at the Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism Conference, Bolton opined that China “has a different view of how society functions,” adding that US companies “are entitled to protect [themselves] against the imposition of that point of view of on our own society”.
“So in the case of any of the high-tech companies, when they engage in activity that benefits China and potentially harms America, I think we’re entitled to look at … companies like Huawei and say, ‘You’re not selling in the United States,'” Bolton - an appointee of US President Donald Trump - said.
Huawei is “a state-owned enterprise doing what [its] masters in Beijing want you to do,” Bolton asserted. Huawei is owned by a trade union committee, which reports to the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is controlled by the Communist Party of China, according to the South China Morning Post. This led some researchers to conclude that the company is owned and controlled by the government.
Bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Cotton and Van Hollen will solidify Trump’s executive order issued in May barring Huawei from trading in the US market, which would make it impossible to remove Huawei from the Commerce Department Entity List without a Congressional decision. The executive order was signed after the US Department of Justice charged the company with bank fraud, wire fraud and Iran sanctions violations, The Daily Caller says.
“Our bill reinforces the president’s decision to place Huawei on a technology blacklist. American companies shouldn’t be in the business of selling our enemies the tools they’ll use to spy on Americans,” Cotton said in the legislation.
Bolton also lashed out at US tech giants, including, “Apple, Google, or any of the high-tech companies, any of the social media companies,” saying “they're so desperate for market share that they'll do things that compromise our safety here.”
The comment comes after Trump advisor and Facebook board member Peter Thiel suggested that the US government should probe Google over allegations of cooperation with the Chinese military.
Bolton, at the conference, said, “We are entitled as a country to look after our national interest by precluding companies that want to take advantage of America's opportunities […] from engaging in activity that's harmful to the country.”
According to The Washington Examiner, Bolton compared any leash put on the Silicon Valley companies to sanctions introduced to prevent US companies from investing in Iran.
US and China are in the middle of a trade war which coincided with a technology race between US and Chinese 5G wireless network developers. Washington seeks to oust Chinese companies from domestic and European market, as well as Israel and other allies.
US officials have repeatedly alleged that Huawei’s telecom hardware can be used to spy on behalf of Beijing. Both Beijing and company spokespersons have denied the allegations.
Speaking Before a Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Google’s vice president on government and public relations denied allegations of the search giant’s involvement with the Chinese military.