Last week, the Supreme Court of British Columbia set a hearing date in extradition proceedings against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei, bringing her one step closer to being sent to the United States for trial. This is a make-or-break moment for Huawei’s international ambitions — and perhaps China’s — if only because the company is widely tipped to lead the world in soon-to-debut fifth-generation (5G) technologies.
上周,不列颠哥伦比亚省最高法院确定了针对中国科技巨头华为首席财务官孟晚舟引渡程序的听证会日期向将她遣送美国接受审判又进了一步。华为被广泛认为会在即将推出的第五代(5G)技术中成为世界领导者,仅考虑这一个原因就足以明白,对于华为——或许也对于中国——的国际雄心而言,这是个成败攸关的时刻。
Ms. Meng was arrested in Canada late last year on behalf of the American government, which has charged her with fraud and violating sanctions against Iran. But the United States’ beef against her goes deeper than any Iran connections and will have strategic significance well beyond her fate.
孟晚舟去年应美国政府的要求在加拿大被捕,美国控告她欺诈并违反了伊朗制裁禁令。但美国想追究她的问题并不仅限于她和伊朗的关联,而此事的战略意义也不只关乎她个人的命运。
Huawei describes itself as a private, employee-owned business committed to bringing digital technology to the world. Some question that characterization, and the United States government sees the company as an arm of the authoritarian Chinese state, beholden to the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (C.C.P.). In that view, China’s objective is global dominance, and major Chinese companies like Huawei — nurtured strategically, richly resourced and now successfully embedded in the West — are commercial concerns on a political mission.
华为自称是一家私营的、员工所有的企业,致力于为全世界提供数字科技。有关方面对此描述表示质疑,美国政府视该公司为中国专制政府的分支机构,与中国共产党休戚与共。从这一点来看,中国的目标在于全球主导地位,那么诸如华为这类中国大公司就是带着政治使命的商业机构。
Apart from the charges against Ms. Meng, in January the United States filed an indictment against Huawei for multiple offenses, including the systematic theft of intellectual property. The American government has been warning allies that the company has developed critical capabilities to carry out cyberespionage worldwide. Congress has banned the use of Huawei products in federal projects for fear of compromising national security. (Huawei has responded by filing a suit last week against the United States over the restrictions.)
除对孟晚舟的控告外,美国1月就多项罪名对华为发起诉讼,包括有系统地窃取知识产权。美国政府一直在警告盟友,该公司已发展出在全世界实施间谍活动关键能力。出于国家安全方面的担忧,国会已禁止在联邦项目中使用华为产品。(华为的回应是在上周就上述限制措施对美国政府提起诉讼。)
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With these moves, the United States may be hoping to protect the interests of American tech companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong about the threat of Chinese spying. That’s real, and laid out in the open: Just look at China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law.
美国采取这些举动,或许是希望保护美国科技公司的利益,但不等于它对中国间谍活动威胁的判断是错误的。这种威胁是真实的,并且毫不掩饰:只需看看中国2017年通过的《国家情报法》
The N.I.L. is no standard security and spying legislation, concerned principally with preventing the leak of state secrets. Its main thrust isn’t protective; it’s proactive. “All organizations and citizens shall support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence efforts according to the Law,” it says. (I know of no official English version; this is my translation, based partly on several others.) Another provision is even more explicit: The state institutions tasked with enforcing the N.I.L. — which also oversee all intelligence and espionage activities, civilian and military — “may demand that relevant organs, organizations and citizens provide necessary support, assistance and cooperation.” Spying for the state is a duty of the citizens and corporations of China under the law, much like paying taxes.
这部法律并非标准的安全与间谍活动法案,其首要关切是防止国家机密外泄。它的主要推力不是自我保护,而是主动行动。其中规定,“任何组织和公民都应当依法支持、协助和配合国家情报工作。”(该法据我所知没有官方英文版;这是我的翻译,部分基于其他几个版本。)另一条款则更直白:国家情报工作机构依法开展情报工作,“可以要求有关机关、组织和公民提供必要的支持、协助和配合。”根据该法,为国家从事情报活动是中国公民和组织的义务,跟纳税差不多。
The N.I.L. offers enticements for compliance: “The state gives commendations and rewards to individuals and organizations that make major contributions to national intelligence efforts.” In its January indictment against Huawei, the United States claims that the company systematically gives bonuses to employees who pilfer intellectual property from foreign companies.
这部法律为守法的行为提供了激励:“国家对在国家情报工作中作出重大贡献的个人和组织给予表彰和奖励。”在1月份针对华为的起诉书中,美国声称该公司就窃取外国公司的知识产权给员工提供制度性奖励
The N.I.L. leaves little room for opting out. “Obstructing the work” of China’s intelligence institutions is punishable and may be a criminal offense. Those institutions are entitled to “have priority use of, or can lawfully requisition the transportation or communications tools, premises and buildings of state organs, organizations or individuals” — and “when necessary,” set up “relevant work sites and equipment within them.” In other words, installing a back door in Huawei hardware to collect foreign intelligence would have a firm basis under Chinese law.
这部法律几乎没留选择退出的余地。“阻碍国家情报工作机构开展情报工作的”将受到惩处并可构成犯罪。这些机构“可以优先使用或者依法征用有关机关、组织和个人的交通工具、通信工具、场地和建筑物”——“必要时”,可以设置“相关工作场所和设备、设施。”换言之,在华为硬件设备上安装后门以收集外国情报,是具有坚实法律依据的。
During an interview with CBS last month, Ren Zhengfei, the founder and chief executive officer of Huawei, was asked if he had “ever given any information to the Chinese government, in any way, shape or form?” Mr. Ren — who is also Ms. Meng’s father, as well as a veteran C.C.P. member and a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army — answered: “For the past 30 years, we have never done that, and the next 30 years to come, we will never do that.”
上个月,在接受CBS采访时,华为创始人兼首席执行官任正非被问及,他“是否曾以任何方式、形态或形式向中国政府提供过任何信息?”孟晚舟的父亲、这位资深中国共产党党员和前中国人民解放军军官回答说:“过去30年,我们从来没这么做过,未来30年,我们也绝不会这么做。”
The Chinese government has come to the defense of Ms. Meng and Huawei, aggressively. Calling for Ms. Meng’s release in December, it threatened, “otherwise Canada must accept full responsibility for the serious consequences caused,” and later arrested two Canadians in China on espionage charges. When Canada, in turn, asked for the Canadians’ release, China accused it of double standards and “white supremacy.” Last week, China banned the import of canola from one of Canada’s biggest producers. The Chinese foreign ministry has also called the American charges against Ms. Meng and Huawei politically motivated and “immoral.”
中国政府积极为孟晚舟和华为辩护。它在12月呼吁释放孟晚舟,威胁说,“否则必将造成严重后果,加方要为此承担全部责任”,随后在中国以间谍罪逮捕了两名加拿大人。当加拿大反过来要求释放这些加拿大人时,中国指责加拿大奉行双重标准和“白人优越论”。上周,中国禁止从加拿大最大的油菜籽生产商之一进口油菜籽。中国外交部还称,美国对孟和华为的指控有政治动机,是“不道德的”。
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Might quieter, behind-the-scene diplomatic maneuvering be more effective at saving Ms. Meng and helping Huawei? Probably. But a more discreet approach would be suitable only if Huawei were more or less an isolated case. If it isn’t, then when the Chinese government stands up visibly for an operative that is under threat, it is signaling to Chinese individuals and corporations the world over that it will also help them should they get into trouble while in the line of spying duty. This, too, is in keeping with the N.I.L., which provides that “the relevant state departments shall employ the necessary measures to protect or rescue” any person (or a close relative) who “has established cooperative relationships” with the state intelligence institutions and who is “threatened as a result of assisting” them.
为拯救孟晚舟和帮助华为,低调的幕后外交策略是否会更有效?可能。但只有当华为多少是一个孤例的时候,才适合采取更谨慎的做法。如果不是,那么当中国政府站出来,公然为一名面临险境的操作人说话时,就等于是在向全世界的中国个人和企业发出信号:如果他们在执行间谍任务时遇到麻烦,中国政府也会提供帮助。这也符合国家情报法的标准,其中规定,与国家情报工作机构“建立合作关系”的人员,“因协助国家情报工作,其本人或者近亲属人身安全受到威胁时”,“国家有关部门应当采取必要措施,予以保护、营救。”
The United States authorities are correct to point out that Huawei can perform critical commercial, military and diplomatic espionage; actually, Chinese law explicitly requires it to. Yet the law is so stunningly blatant that it may be difficult to take in fully, especially for some in the West.
美国当局指出华为可能进行重大商业、军事和外交间谍活动是对的;事实上,中国法律明确要求它这样做。然而这项法律是如此明目张胆,以至于可能很难充分理解,尤其是对西方一些人而言。
Discounting the United States’ warnings, Britain, Germany, India and Italy seem to be leaning toward using Huawei hardware in their communications infrastructure. Some countries want to upgrade to 5G quickly and cheaply; Huawei can help with that; they see no obvious back door in its systems. In this, they are much like preys before a trap that’s empty and doubt there ever was a trapper who laid it out.
英国德国印度意大利不顾美国警告,似乎倾向于在其通信基础设施中使用华为的硬件。一些国家希望快速而廉价地升级到5G;华为可以在这方面提供帮助;他们在华为系统中看不到明显的后门。在这一点上,他们就像是一群猎物,面对敞开的陷阱,还不相信有人会设下陷阱。