An international dispute over a wireless computing standard took a bitter turn this past week with the Chinese delegation walking out of a global meeting to discuss the technology.
The delegation's walkout from Wednesday's opening of a two-day meeting in the Czech Republic escalated an already rancorous struggle by China to gain international acceptance for its homegrown encryption technology known as WAPI. It follows Chinese accusations that a U.S.-based standards body used underhanded tactics to prevent global approval of WAPI.
"In this extremely unfair atmosphere, it is meaningless for the Chinese delegation to continue attending the meeting," the Standardization Administration of China delegation said in a statement carried by the official Xinhua News Agency.
The U.S.-based group, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, denies any impropriety and says China isn't playing by the established rules.At stake is a leg-up in technology research and billions of dollars in licensing fees and component sales for laptops, mobile phones, handheld computers and other wireless devices that connect to wireless networks around the world, including hotels, coffee shops and universities.
These gadgets run on networks based on the IEEE's 802.11 standards. The original standards, however, have security holes that allow digital snoops to steal data from those who are logged on to the networks.
Members of the IEEE, an open international professional organization, and a Chinese government-backed group of engineers with military backgrounds, have developed competing technologies to plug the security holes: for China, WAPI, for the IEEE, 802.11i.
China had earlier tried to compel Intel and other tech companies to adopt its WAPI standard domestically, leading to a showdown with Washington that ended with Beijing backing down last year.But the push for the Chinese standard persisted and Beijing decided to follow Washington's advice and put the Chinese standard before the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, a world body made up of representatives from national standardization groups.
human rights organisation Amnesty International has accused China of
being of the world's most secretive and irresponsible arms exporters.In
a report, it says Chinese weapons have helped to fuel conflicts such as
those in Sudan, Nepal and Burma.
Amnesty is urging China to publish information on its arms exports. The authorities in Beijing have long insisted that they have strict safeguards in place to prevent any unethical arms sales. Amnesty International challenges this idea in the report. "China describes its approach to arms export licensing as'cautious and responsible', yet the reality couldn't be further from the truth," the author's report, Helen Hughes, said in a statement. China is the only major arms exporting power that has not signed up to any multilateral agreements with criteria to prevent arms exports likely to be used for serious human rights violations," she added.The report alleges that Beijing shipped
200 Chinese military trucks to Sudan and supplying the ruling junta in Burma with weapons.
This is not a major surprise, is it? As I posted in Chinese new arsenal, Chinese interests in Sudan has been enormous and in this case they have been helped by Russia to block the Human Rights of the Sudanese.