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This Legislation Won’t Address the Root Issues Affecting American Society

Credits: Reuters

The latest attempts by Washington to ban TikTok reveal a deeper issue in how China is perceived. The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which targets TikTok, fails to address key concerns about social media apps, such as privacy, data protection, targeting of children, and addiction.

These issues are not unique to TikTok and require comprehensive internet privacy legislation that applies to all social media platforms.

Furthermore, the bill gives the executive branch broad authority to restrict companies across the entire information technology sector based on their ownership, potentially exacerbating hostility and xenophobia in U.S.-China relations.

US Senate (Credits: Reuters)

It does not provide evidence of harm from TikTok or demonstrate Chinese government control over the app but instead relies on vague assertions.

The legislation’s definition of “controlled by a foreign adversary” includes companies domiciled in countries designated as enemies by the previous administration, implying that all Chinese people are agents of the Chinese government.

This simplistic view overlooks the potential for cooperation and coexistence between the U.S. and China on shared interests.

The bill’s lack of consideration for global consequences could accelerate the fragmentation of the global information and communication technology market, leading to retaliatory bans on U.S. technologies and the division of the world into rival information technology spheres.

This approach risks remaking the U.S. in the image of an authoritarian government and undermines the aspiration of a universally inclusive global system.

Instead of pursuing exclusionary measures, policymakers should focus on stabilizing U.S.-China relations through constructive engagement and dialogue.

Vilifying China and seeking false unity behind the exclusion of a foreign power does not address the real social problems facing the U.S. and only pushes the world toward geopolitical conflict.

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