By Guo Yuandan
According to a report by Fox Business on May 16, despite increasing tensions across the world, major US defense contractors have maintained ties with China, posing severe risks to the US. In this regard, Lyu Xiang, an expert on American issues at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, pointed out that China now has the capability to independently research and develop its military technology; however, the US side still arrogantly holds the belief that the development of China's military strength has to rely on American technology.
The report mentioned above has focused on Raytheon, Bell and Boeing, three American powerhouse defense firms which have been maintaining relationships with firms tied to the Chinese government. It claimed that Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and Collins Aerospace Systems, a pair of Raytheon's subsidiaries, have ties with China and its military, and blamed Boeing, an American titan in the defense world for over a century, for conducting commercial business in China since 1972. Besides, the report pointed its finger at another arms dealer Lockheed Martin for remaining business interests in China, and Bell Helicopter Textron for dedicating a whole page to introduce its "China Service Center"on its official website. In a statement sent to Fox Business, Isaac Stone Fish, the CEO and founder of Strategy Risks, a China risk consultancy company, warned that defense contractors' Chinese ties present severe risks.
However, spokespersons for Bell, Boeing and Lockheed Martin all have denied having military and defense business in China. Notably, a spokesperson for Boeing stated in a statement that "China is an important market for our commercial business, and the US-built aircraft we export into that market supports the economy including tens of thousands of US jobs directly, as well as more than 1 million American workers in all 50 states across our supply chain."
Lyu Xiang said on May 16 that the US Fox Business is the mouthpiece of the Republican Party, conservative and extreme. In the context of the current US mid-term election, it is not surprising that some Americans have fabricated such issues out of thin air to attack China.
But here are three things that must be clarified. First, the investment of American companies in China is not a charitable cause; instead, it's an investment behavior that earns profit from the market and contributes to the income statements of American companies. Second, the US government has strict restrictions on the investment behavior of its defense companies, which have already undergone a compliance review by the US government before conducting business in China. Third, some US politicians dogmatically believe that all bilateral cooperation is conducive to the development of China's military strength, which surely depends on American technology. So they still have too many unrealistic associations between civilian technology and military application. However, the actual situation at present is that China has gained the capability to independently develop its own military technology.
Editor's note: This article is originally published on the www.huanqiu.com, and is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information, ideas or opinions appearing in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of eng.chinamil.com.cn.