The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urged Chinese government-controlled telecommunications companies to explain why it should not revoke their authority to operate in the United States, citing potential risks to national security.
The FCC issued Orders to Show Cause against China Telecom Americas, China Unicom Americas, Pacific Networks, and ComNet. The FCC asked the companies why it should not revoke their authorization to operate in the United States, given that they are controlled by the Chinese government.
The orders follow as the FCC in 2019 rejected China Mobile USA’s application to provide international telecommunications services between America and other countries.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai wrote in a statement on Friday:
Foreign entities providing telecommunications services—or seeking to provide services—in the United States must not pose a risk to our national security. The Show Cause Orders reflect our deep concern—one shared by the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, and State and the U.S. Trade Representative—about these companies’ vulnerability to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese Communist Party, given that they are subsidiaries of Chinese state-owned entities. We simply cannot take a risk and hope for the best when it comes to the security of our networks.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) praised FCC Chairman Pai’s order, contending that the Chinese controlled-companies could violate America’s telecommunications infrastructure.
Cotton said in a statement on Friday:
No matter their cries to the contrary, these firms are beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, and their operation in the United States will continue to pose a threat to our critical networks as long as it continues. Chairman Pai has rightly identified the magnitude of the Chinese telecom contamination, and the FCC is taking strong steps towards eliminating it.
Cotton also called on the FCC to ban and revoke China Telecom’s authority to provide international telecommunications services.
China Telecom has operated freely in the United States for years, despite being caught hijacking U.S. Internet traffic and misdirecting it through China. Allowing Chinese firms to access our telecommunications network is a threat to Americans’ ability to communicate freely and securely.
He added, “I urge the FCC to heed the unanimous recommendation of six U.S. agencies that China Telecom be banned from operating in the United States.”
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.