UK spy chief barking up wrong tree by hyping up China tech threat

In excerpts from a speech for a security lecture of a think tank in London that were released on Monday, Jeremy Fleming, director of Government Communications Headquarters of the United Kingdom, warns Western countries of the "threat" from China taking advantage of technology.

In the extracts from the speech Fleming was to deliver on Tuesday at the annual Royal United Services Institute "security lecture", the UK spy chief hyped up the tired old "China threat" in a bid to big up his agency whose "privilege and duty" is "to see the sliding door moments of history" he boasted.

With deep government spending cuts impending in the UK, it was a good opportunity for him to stake GCHQ's claim to funding by playing up the threats the country faces. Without providing any substantial evidence, he cited China's digital currency and its Beidou satellite navigation system, as "tools to gain an advantage".

Although he exposed the West's real fears by claiming that the digital renminbi would "enable China to partially evade the sort of international sanctions currently being applied to (President Vladimir) Putin's regime in Russia" and that Beidou was evidence China was developing powerful anti-satellite capability, "with a doctrine of denying other nations access to space in the event of a conflict".

In scaremongering about Chinese technologies, Fleming conveniently ignores the fact that such allegations were leveled at Huawei's 5G technologies, into which the UK's cybersecurity agency, prompted by the incessant pressure from the US administration at the time, conducted an investigation and concluded that although there were vulnerabilities, those were not an indication of any hostile intent.

It is no secret that it is the US that has analyzed and stored UK citizens' and entities' phone data and internet and email records through its National Security Agency under a secret deal approved by the UK government itself, as whistleblower Edward Snowden has exposed.

It was later revealed that the NSA was using a partnership with Denmark's foreign intelligence unit to spy on senior officials of the US' European allies, including the UK, according to an internal investigation by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service.

What spurs Fleming and others to hysterically stigmatize Chinese technologies and companies is their fear that China's technological progress is reducing the West's "future strategic technology advantage".

They know that Chinese companies and technologies have not only provided customers in developed countries with products and services of high cost-performance but also greatly promoted common development of the less-developed economies by offering them a timely ride in the new technology revolution. But since they exploit technology in less wholesome ways, they perceive all technologies in such a light.

It is not China and its technologies that should be the focus of concerns, but rather the US and its compulsive need to be omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.