VII. Thought Running Counter to Historical Trend
One of the most striking achievements in modern scientific and technological progress is the development and application of the computer. It has played an important role in the development of the global economy and the progress of human civilization. Today, computers have been more and more closely related with people's daily lives and widely used in all fields of economic and social life. Now, computers can be found everywhere--in teaching and scientific research, commercial activities, outdoor tours, daily life, medical service and health care, banking and financial management, as well as in weather forecasting, transportation and communications. Cox and others, however, intentionally over-emphasize the use of computers in the military field. They look on the development and application of computers as a tool threatening and even destroying mankind rather than as a factor benefiting mankind, and devote enormous coverage to the negative aspect. Cox and others propose to strengthen the control over the export of computers to other countries. This is an action running totally counter to the historical trend.
The Cox Report alleges that the main purpose of China's development and application of advanced computers is to apply them in the military field, and that China has used illegal means to "acquire" US computer technology. This does not tally with the facts in any way.
Like other countries in the world, China develops and uses computers for the purpose of accelerating the development of the national economy, improving the people's living standards and making daily life more convenient.
China has imported many computers, including high performance ones, along with spare parts from the United States. In 1995, for example, the China Meteorological Center imported the CRAY/c-92, a high performance computer, from the US-based Cray Co. for analyzing and processing meteorological data. How does weather forecast, a work beneficial to entire mankind, menace the US security?
China imports computers from the United States through normal commercial channels in accordance with business rules commonly practiced in the world, which also has brought enormous commercial benefits to the United States, and created many employment opportunities for it. China has always believed that, in the field of computer exports, the control policy of the United States runs against the historical tide, creating man-made barriers for the healthy development of bilateral economic and trade relations and harming the trade balance between the two countries.
The so-called high performance computers mentioned in the Cox Report refer to those with a speed of 2000 MTOPS (million theoretical operations per second). But China had long been able to make computers operating at a much higher speed. The operation speed of computers China makes now far exceeds 2000 MTOPS.
Although the United States has imposed all sorts of restrictions on computer exports, China has never ventured to "acquire" American computer technologies through abnormal channels. In order to apply for a US computer export license, the Chinese Government, at the request of the US side, provided the Importer's Statement on End-User and End-Use, making an end-user and end-use commitment. In order to maintain the credit of the Chinese Government and exercise effective management over the work related to the Importer's Statement on End-User and End-Use, responsible government departments have issued a series of specific and effective rules and regulations, stipulating that commodities imported after going through the formality of the Importer Statement on End-User and End-Use can only be used for the purpose designated in the statement and that, without the permission from the original exporting nation, the commodities are not allowed to be exported to a third country. Years of practice have proved that the Chinese Government has exercised serious and effective management over the work.
Examining the end-user of computers is not a common international practice. However, in order to promote the development of Sino-US economic and trade relations, the Chinese side made utmost efforts in this respect, reaching an understanding with the US side in June 1998. Within half a year after the understanding was reached, the US side made requests for seven visits to China. China tried its best to accommodate the requests and did, in fact, have arranged six visits. It shows the sincerity of the Chinese side, and the US side has never challenged this aspect. The Cox Report, however, turns a blind eye to this and, further more, accuses China of breaking its promises, which is not true.