By Jim Wolf
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A paper published by China's biggest telecommunications equipment maker said the company's path into the United States had been blocked by unsubstantiated "allegations based on allegations" that threatened to harm ties between the world's two biggest economies.
The complaint published by Huawei Technologies Co - topped by a reference to McCarthy-era Red Scare witch-hunting - was spelled out on the eve of the company's scheduled testimony Thursday at a rare public hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee.
The committee is completing a nearly year-long investigation of security threats allegedly posed by equipment sold by Shenzhen, China-based Huawei, as well as ZTE Corp, a smaller cross-town rival also frustrated by challenges entering the U.S. market.
The concern is that their products may be booby-trapped and provide the Chinese "an opportunity for greater foreign espionage, threaten our critical infrastructure, or increase the opportunities for Chinese economic espionage," the Republican-led House Intelligence panel said in a notice about the hearing.
Huawei, second only in telecom gear sales worldwide to Sweden's Ericsson, pushed back with an 81-page paper titled "The Case for Huawei in America," published on the web site of its U.S. subsidiary Wednesday night.
"Much of the evidence fueling lawmakers' concerns remains classified," said the heavily footnoted paper by Dan Steinbock, described as an authority on trade and investment and U.S.-Chinese relations.
"However, when one set of allegations are substantiated with another set of allegations, the line between investigation and maltreatment grows thin," the Huawei-commissioned paper said, decrying "allegations based on allegations."
Continued rebuffs of Huawei in the United States, the document added, "is giving rise to a de facto blueprint for mirror-like Chinese measures to protect perceived strategic industries in the mainland."
William Plummer, a spokesman in the United States for Huawei, said the words in the paper belonged to Steinbock, not the company.
A spokesman for the Chinese embassy had no immediate comment on the congressional hearing. Testifying for Huawei will be Charles Ding, a corporate senior vice president; for ZTE, Zhu Jinyun, senior vice president for North America and Europe.
The two are believed to be the first representatives of major Chinese corporations to testify before a U.S. congressional committee.
Huawei and Bain Capital Partners were forced to give up their bid in 2008 for computer-equipment maker 3Com Corp after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States - an interagency group led by the Treasury Department - raised objections. Last year, Huawei dropped plans to buy certain assets from 3Leaf Systems, a computer services company, after more problems with the foreign investment panel.
An unsuccessful outcome for Huawei in the United States would have "adverse implications" for U.S.-Chinese relations far beyond Huawei, the paper paid for by Huawei said.
The paper's cover sheet quoted the U.S. journalist Edward R. Murrow on Senator Joseph McCarthy, whose "Red Scare" hearings in the early 1950s become synonymous with reckless, witch-hunt hysteria.
"No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful," said the Murrow quote reproduced in the paper. "It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one."
A White House spokeswoman said President Barack Obama's administration was looking broadly at the opportunities, risks and implications of reliance on global, commercial markets, not aiming at "any particular company."
"We understand the potential for risks to our country introduced via the supply chain for telecommunications equipment and services," said spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
Across the government, efforts are under way to institutionalize understanding of the telecommunications environment for a "nuanced response to risk that addresses national security concerns as well as the competitiveness of industry and the U.S. economy," she said by email.
(Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Michael Perry)
Earlier on HuffPost:
Be Careful Plugging In Your DC Jack
Unless you have an Apple laptop with its MagSafe magnetic connector, you need to be gentle when plugging in your computer. If excessive force is applied to the jack, the solder joints connecting the jack to the motherboard can crack. The points of contact can quickly overheat, further damaging the motherboard and the jack. In some cases the motherboard can even catch fire. So don't apply too much force, don't use a cheap after-market charger (only an original charger), and if you notice that the jack is loose, bring it to a repair place ASAP. The more you use a laptop with a loose jack, the looser it becomes and the more you risk destroying both the charger and the motherboard.
Clean Your Cooling System With Compressed Air
Buy a bottle of compressed air and blow the dust out of your fan and heat sink once a month. Laptop heat sinks are very fine and get cloaked with dust easily. Open the case and get rid of all the dirt, dust, lint, Cheetos remains and whatever else might have accumulated in there. If you can't figure out how to open the case, call the manufacturer. Most help desks will be more than happy to tell you how to open the case for maintenance, even if your warranty or support plan is up. Also make sure to use static-neutral compressed air. The most popular brand is probably <a href="http://www.dust-off.com/" target="_hplink">Dust-Off</a>.
Don't Use Your Laptop In Bed
If you can avoid using a laptop that's lying on a bed or sofa, then please do. When you put your laptop on soft material, you block the ventilation holes in the bottom and the laptop can't suck in air for cooling. Make sure that your laptop sits on a hard surface such as a table or computer mat and that there is space between the bottom of the computer and the surface so that air can travel under the computer. If you must use your laptop in bed, prop it on a big hardcover book or a lapdesk.
Consider a Cooling Pad
Avoid overheating at all times. The lower the temperature of your laptop, the longer it will live. All of the repair shops we spoke with reiterated the importance of keeping the laptop's temperature low and agreed that overheating was a huge cause of laptop failure. Even <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/search/ref=sr_nr_scat_2243862011_ln?rh=n%3A2243862011%2Ck%3Alaptop+cooling&keywords=laptop+cooling&ie=UTF8&qid=1316580080&scn=2243862011&h=c0e469de81e81fe1a07328301960ae52fc27e8fc" target="_hplink">a cheap $20 laptop cooling pad</a> can help extend the life of your device.
Get CCleaner, Use CCleaner
Download CCleaner for Mac and PC. Every second you spend on your computer doing even simple things, the computer is working hard. That means it can get clogged with temporary files, history, cookies, etc. You can clean the computer and the registry with this very useful tool. CCleaner is free and incredibly easy to use, and <a href="http://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER" target="_hplink">you can download it here</a>. We've heard suggestions to use it as often as every day, but you should be fine with every week or two.
Don't Drink And Surf
No liquids near your laptop! It's that simple. Don't drink by your computer, don't eat by your computer, don't keep your goldfish bowl by your computer. Even if you've never spilled anything before in your life, it's just a matter of time, and the spill could seriously fry your electronics.
Clean Your Screen Correctly
When dust dirties your screen, don't grab for chemical cleaners like Windex. The chemicals in those cleaning solutions can destroy the thin protective layer on your screen and damage the display over time. Instead, take two tissues, one with a touch of H2O and one dry. Wipe your screen with the wet one and then the dry one, to clean completely and soak up any water drops on the screen. Even better, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lcd+display+cleaners&x=0&y=0" target="_hplink">use only approved LCD cleaners</a> to keep your screen shiny, new and scratch-free.
Manage Your Battery Life
Drain the laptop's battery all the way occasionally. Most manufacturers recommend using the computer until the battery is drained completely at least once a month. Don't keep the laptop charged all the time, as this can reduce battery life in the long run.
Get Anti-Virus Software
There are millions of viruses, malware, spyware and other really nasty bugs designed solely to harm your system. Fortunately, there are plenty of free anti-virus programs recommended by our New York-area repair shops, including: - <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials/default.aspx" target="_hplink">Microsoft Essentials</a>. ("It's light, free, updated on a regular basis and just works," according to one of our repairmen.) - <a href="http://www.malwarebytes.org/" target="_hplink">Malwarebytes</a>, a program for all the malware that's flying around. - <a href="http://www.safer-networking.org/index2.html" target="_hplink">Spybot</a>, for spyware protection. - <a href="http://www.avast.com/en-us/index" target="_hplink">Avast</a>. - <a href="http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage" target="_hplink">AVG Free</a>. Even <a href="http://www.reedcorner.net/guides/macvirus/malware_catalog.php" target="_hplink">if your laptop is a Mac</a>, you should have one of these anti-virus programs.
Download Those Windows Updates
Get those Windows Updates! Once a week Microsoft releases updates to its operating system, and often those fixes are critical to your security. In Windows 7, simply click on "Start," type in "Windows Update" and click on the first result to be taken to the Windows Updater. Mac users should also update regularly, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/mac-os-x-lion-password_n_971469.html" target="_hplink">especially in light of the recent bugs in Lion OS X</a>.