US Senator Marco Rubio and other US lawmakers campaign against Huawei research partnerships with US universities is driven by two congressman who are “quite closed-minded and ill-informed”, a Huawei boss has said.
Eric Xu, the company’s current rotating chairman, said it seems that their bodies are in the information age, but their minds are still in the agrarian age.
“Their behaviour shows not just an ignorance of how science and innovation works today, but also their own lack of confidence.”
For years, Huawei has been labelled by US politicians as a potential security threat.
Last week a bipartisan group organized by Republican Senator Rubio and Representative Jim Banks, also a Republican, urged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to investigate partnerships between Huawei, a Chinese corporate giant, and 50 American universities.
“We believe these partnerships may pose a significant threat to national security and this threat demands your attention and oversight,” the group said in a letter.
Xu said their behaviour shows not just an ignorance of how science and innovation works today, but also their own lack of confidence. “We all know that academic freedom is the core value of modern universities.
And it is also the cornerstone of higher education in the US,” he explained. “It is because of the very academic freedom and open atmosphere that US universities are able to attract the bright minds to study and to do research in universities across the US.”
He added that the ability of American universities to maintain their academic freedom in an open approach is a crucial factor behind the development and strength of the US as a nation.
“We all know that science has no national borders. Everybody in the world is learning and using Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. I don’t know whether these two congressmen have ever learned them or used them.
“I don’t know whether somebody feels that learning or using these laws of motion poses any kind of national security threat to the US.”
Huawei added that its engagement and collaboration with universities is also founded on a collective vision to drive the advancement of science, technology, and the industry.
“We want to contribute our part as universities continue to serve as the beacon of human civilization,” said Xu.
“The research findings from universities through our joint partnerships have been shared openly throughout the world – through dissertations and papers published by professors, PhD students, and postgraduate students.”