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China calls for tech collaboration while criticizing U.S. action

(Bloomberg) --A senior Chinese official called for governments around the world to work more closely together to regulate emerging technologies, while taking a veiled swipe at the U.S. for undermining collaboration.

“The foundation for an open and shared-by-all internet is unstable,” Huang Kunming, a member of the Politburo, which is comprised of China’s 25 most-senior officials, said at a technology forum on Sunday. “Some countries restrain and suppress companies from other countries using cyber security as an excuse. Such moves cast uncertainty and even antagonism over cyberspace,” he said, without naming the U.S.

Technology has come increasingly to the fore of a confrontation between the U.S. and China that began with trade and has since spread to 5G mobile networks and artificial intelligence. Washington has lobbied countries to not use gear from Huawei Technologies Co. in their 5G plans, arguing it could facilitate spying by Beijing, and the U.S. blacklisted some of China’s leading AI companies, citing their links to the detention of ethnic minorities.

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“We need to respect each country’s approach to Internet development, governance, policy making and their rights to participate in international governance based on mutual trust,” said Huang, who’s also head of the Communist Party’s publicity department. “We need to pay attention to each others’ interests and concerns, effectively deal with disagreements and avoid strategic misjudgment. “

Huang spoke at the World Internet Conference held in the small town of Wuzhen in eastern China’s Zhejiang province. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chief Executive Daniel Zhang, Baidu Inc. Chief Executive Robin Li and Western Digital Corp. Chief Executive Steve Milligan were among executives in attendance.

Bloomberg News