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The Idea of “The West”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) talks with Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson on arrival in Downing street in central London on July 21, 2020. HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP

The current campaign by the U.S. government and its allies against the Chinese technology firm Huawei ends up being quite revealing. Ostensibly, Washington’s pressure on its allies to step away from Huawei as a tech partner is all about concrete concerns: security, spying and external actors like the Chinese Communist Party possibly seizing control of data networks. 

But the language in these warnings quickly spirals into something more diffuse. In February, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that a Huawei-armed CCP represents “an enormous risk to the idea of the west.” 

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