It seems rather brazen at first, but when you reflect upon it for a while, it actually starts making sense. After all, it's not as if U.S. tech firms and defense contractors have any secrets left for the ChiComms to plunder, just as it's already established fact that Beijing has a larger economy and is surpassing the U.S. militarily. So the need to be clandestine, cloak & dagger, or even coy has pretty much gone out the window as far as Xi Jinping is concerned, and he feels perfectly comfortable fascistically dictating terms to companies of a country he confidently knows he will soon control directly, as oppose to through his Manchurian intermediary in the White House.
Besides, after seven years of Obamunism, it's not like they're not used to it:
China is asking some U.S. technology firms to directly pledge their commitment to contentious policies that could require them to turn user data and intellectual property over to the government, the New York Times reported.
Citing unidentified sources, the report said Beijing had distributed a document to some U.S. firms earlier this summer asking them to promise they would not harm China's national security and would store Chinese user data within the country.
The Times report, which comes just ahead of President Xi Jinping's first state visit to the United States....
Inspecting his new territories - or, as they used to call it, "touring the estates" - no doubt.
....did not identify which companies had been asked to make the pledge.
Given that the answer is probably "all of them," specificity was no doubt considered superfluous.
The document also asked the companies that their products be "secure and controllable", a phrase that industry groups said could be used to force companies to build so-called back doors that would allow third-party access to systems, it said.
The Russian and/or North Koreans, I'm guessing.
Of course, U.S. tech firms will cave. Can't lose access to that magical "vast, burgeoning Chinese market" that's been a shimmering mirage for a century and a half now, after all. But I can't help wondering what would happen if they said, "No". No, we are not going to give your allies and our enemies "back door access" to our proprietary systems. No, we will not let you dictate our policies to us. You're going to cut us off and throw us out of your country? Well, that's regrettable, but it's also your loss far more than it is ours. Goodbye for now, you'll be back.
And if not, well, that's the cost of doing good business, as opposed to kowtowing to gangsters.
But nobody ever said that "Corporate America" was either principled or strong believers in liberty, freedom, and self-determination. Or even capitalism, really, which always makes the Left's assumption that "Big Business" is ipso facto "conservative" worth a hearty chuckle.
And now, it would seem, a fortune cookie.