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09/03/2020 Source:  India Today
3 min read

US backs India’s move to ban 118 Chinese apps, asks ‘freedom-loving countries’ to join clean network

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US backs India’s move to ban 118 Chinese apps, asks ‘freedom-loving countries’ to join clean network
India banned 118 mobile apps, including the popular gaming app PUBG on Wednesday. (Image for representation: Reuters)

A US top official on Wednesday supported India’s move to ban over 100 Chinese apps and said, “We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join The Clean Network.”

The US State Department quoted Under Secretary Keith Krach lauding India’s effort and, at the same time, attacking the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for exporting “George Orwell’s version of “1984” into the 21st century”.

“The CCP is trying to leverage 5G-enabled technology to create and export George Orwell’s version of “1984” into the 21st century. India has already banned 100+ Chinese apps. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join The Clean Network,” the US State Department tweeted quoting Keith Krach.

.@State_E Keith Krach: The CCP is trying to leverage 5G-enabled technology to create and export George Orwell’s version of “1984 into the 21st century. India has already banned 100+ Chinese apps. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join The Clean Network. pic.twitter.com/Ow2z0OErLA

— Department of State (@StateDept) September 2, 2020

In another tweet, Keith Krach accused the CCP of threatening “the integrity and freedom of American universities through illicit funding of research, intellectual property theft, intimidation of foreign students, and opaque talent recruitment”.

The CCP threatens the integrity and freedom of American universities through illicit funding of research, intellectual property theft, intimidation of foreign students, and opaque talent recruitment. That’s why I sent this letter to governing boards: https://t.co/E4A6j97pdy https://t.co/nevPXcR58W

— Under Secretary Keith Krach (@State_E) September 2, 2020

The statement by the US comes a day after India banned 118 mobile apps, including the popular gaming app PUBG.

The banned apps include Baidu, Baidu Express Edition, Tencent Watchlist, FaceU, WeChat Reading and Tencent Weiyun, besides PUBG Mobile and PUBG Mobile Lite, according to an official statement.

The government said these apps were “prejudicial to Sovereignty and Integrity of India, Defence of India, Security of State and Public Order” in its notification announcing the ban on the Chinese mobile apps.

The Centre had earlier banned a number of Chinese apps, including TikTok and UC Browser.

With the latest order, the total number of Chinese mobile phone apps banned by the Indian government goes up to 224. The government had first banned 59 Chinese apps days after the violent clash between the Indian and the Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in June.

Hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday asserted that the Communist Party of China is engaged in a “clear and intensive intensifying pattern of bullying” its neighbours from the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas. That bullying is also evident in the South China Sea, he told reporters at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

“We are hoping for a peaceful resolution of the situation on the India-China border. From the Taiwan Strait to the Himalayas and beyond, the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in a clear and intensive intensifying pattern of bullying its neighbours,” Pompeo said.

“Last week, the US imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on Chinese individuals and entities responsible for the CPC’s imperialism and doing things such as unlawful energy surveillance activities in the economic zones of our ally the Philippines and other countries,” he said.