US President Donald Trump wrapped up his four-day state visit to Japan on Tuesday and is expected to return for the G20 Osaka summit at the end of June. It will be the first time that a US president would make two visits to the Northeast Asian nation in two consecutive months. This reflects a new development in alliance politics, bringing to the fore Japan’s hope of expanding its strategic autonomy while keeping its alliance with the US stable.

For the US, good relations with Japan will help take away from the unease of strained ties with Europe. Since Trump took office, the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Iran nuclear deal has created unprecedented tensions between the US and Europe.

At the Munich Security Conference in February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US Vice President Mike Pence traded criticism on national security and trade. Despite Pence alleging that the US’ European allies violated US sanctions on Iran, Merkel was assertive about wanting to preserve the Iran nuclear deal. She also pushed back against Pence’s rebukes on Nord Stream 2.

As for trade, Merkel scoffed at US allegations that German carmaker BMW represented a threat to US national security, stressing that the Bavarian car giant’s largest plant was in the US.

As cross-Atlantic relations worsen, doubts inevitably arise about Trump’s approach to diplomacy. Strengthening the alliance with Asian countries will help alleviate this pressure. Trump’s two visits to Japan further show the solid relationship between the US and Asia. To attenuate the effect of a rift with Europe, the US may push Japan to make new commitments, which can help Trump’s reelection.

For Japan, the visit serves several purposes in domestic and foreign policy. First, Trump is the first world leader to meet with Japan’s new emperor, which highlights that the country’s alliance with the US remains its diplomatic cornerstone. The media’s massive coverage on the golf game between Trump and Abe and the Abe administration’s Izakaya diplomacy makes the Japanese feel that the administration is doing his due job.

Second, the meeting with Trump provided an excellent opportunity for the new emperor and empress to make their debut at international events. Chinese ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua became the first diplomat to meet the new Japanese emperor, and Trump the first foreign leader to meet the monarch. This shows that relations among China, the US and Japan are likely to be the highlight of the emperor’s diplomacy.

At the same time, by organizing the meetings, Abe has proved his diplomatic credentials and helped cement the relationship between the government and the royal family.

Third, US relations with major powers are under strain, creating risks as well as significant strategic opportunities for Japan. Therefore, when seizing the opportunity to expand the strategic space for diplomacy, Tokyo needs to stabilize the bond with the US.

Japan-China relations have seen rapid improvement in the past two years. However, deteriorating US-China relations may throw Japan in a dilemma. Tokyo is unwilling to see its newly improved ties with China being disrupted by the US. Thus, stable relations with the US help create more strategic autonomy for Japan in its diplomacy with China.

While advocating “a total reassessment of Japan’s postwar diplomacy,” Abe lays emphasis on the policy with Russia. This also demands close ties with the US so that Japan can maintain diplomatic independence when developing relations with Russia.

At the same time, after last year’s dramatic changes on the Korean Peninsula, Japan is the only member of the Six-Party Talks that has not actively engaged in bilateral talks with the North Korean leadership.

However, Trump’s efforts to solve the abduction issue and renew talks between Japan and North Korea will help the Abe administration deflect criticism of its policy toward North Korea.

According to media reports, Abe has strongly recommended Trump as a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Behind this lies Japan’s intention of expecting support from the US on its stance on Russia and North Korea.

Fourth, consolidating the Japan-US alliance helps Tokyo expand its diplomatic footprint, allowing it to play a role in major international issues. After summit talks with Abe, Trump said at a press conference that nobody wanted to see terrible things happen in Iran, while Abe suggested Japan would play a role in promoting regional peace and stability. When Abe mentioned his plan to visit Iran during their summit talks, it seemed that Trump agreed to let Japan mediate. If Abe successfully visits Iran, Japan’s international presence will get a fillip at the upcoming G20 summit. And it also means that Japan will begin participating in major international affairs with a newfound standing.

As the US trade war against China escalates, more Americans are calling for Chinese enterprises to be driven out of Wall Street. Those who propose preventing Chinese companies from getting listed in the US said that Chinese companies have gained tens of billions of dollars in financing from the US stock market in recent years, and this is another way for China to gain an extra advantage in addition to the trade surplus. They are fond of advocating US decouple with China financially.

We should admit that the US stock market’s opening to China has promoted some Chinese enterprises’ success. Especially in the upsurge of the internet economy, some IT companies which were blocked by the high standards of the Chinese mainland market and Hong Kong market found opportunities in the US stock market. The US market’s complete management system also helped shape these enterprises and they won more chances to access the Western market.

But such interests are two-way. Outstanding Chinese enterprises were listed in the US, which diversified the US market and provided US investors with the chance to participate in China’s development. It also consolidated the US financial market’s position of being the most open and vibrant worldwide.

If today the US stock market shuts its doors to Chinese companies, then the damage to Chinese economy would be much smaller than it would have been more than 10 years ago. This is because China is already an overall wealthy country, and Chinese companies generally no longer need to go to the US for financing. This will hurt the US financial market’s openness and hinder US investors from sharing in China’s economic achievements.

In fact, there have been debates in China on whether outstanding Chinese companies being listed in the US is beneficial. We don’t agree that China suffers losses, but such debates show that people have different opinions on the issue, which are all somewhat based on facts.

China embraces opening-up. Generally speaking, we regard Chinese companies being listed in the US as an opening-up measure that should be encouraged. The US actively attracts Chinese enterprises to be listed there, which is also an indispensable part of US opening. Chinese people would be a little regretful if the US shuts off its financial market to China. But this will not seriously affect China. Today China has enough space to deal with US narrow-mindedness.

China will explore more choices to replace the US stock market. We believe there will be lots of markets worldwide that welcome promising Chinese enterprises. The US shuts a door against China’s opening-up, but meanwhile it cuts the financing relations with the world’s biggest developing market as well. Will this bring more losses to China or the US? This is an interesting question.

Some American people’s arrogance toward China is abnormal. They are indulging in wishful thinking. They seem to believe the US is the lifeline of China’s prosperity. They believe that if they cut off this so-called lifeline, China’s modernization would collapse.

The US may not really drive Chinese enterprises out of Wall Street. But the ongoing discussions have made Chinese companies more vigilant, and now Wall Street is much less attractive to them. What if Huawei, one of China’s most outstanding enterprises, changes its mind about being listed in the US and is eventually listed in China? Will US investors be more regretful or will Chinese investors be more worried? The arrogant US elites should rethink the situation.

It was reported by Japanese media recently that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would visit Iran in mid-June. Citing government sources, leading Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun said that during the recent visit to Japan, US President Donald Trump supported Abe’s decision to mediate US-Iran tensions. If Abe visits Iran, he will be the first prime minister to go to the Middle East nation since the visit of Japanese prime minister Takeo Fukuda in 1978. What’s behind Abe’s decision to visit Tehran? What will be the effects of such a visit?

Tokyo and Washington are traditional allies with aligned diplomatic, military and security interests. At the same time, Japan has good relations with Middle Eastern countries, Iran being one of them. Japan is a country with scarce natural resources. However, as the third largest economy, Japan needs a large amount of energy to develop. It relies on importing oil and gas, a huge amount of which is from Middle East nations.

Japan’s Middle East diplomacy is essentially energy diplomacy. Iran is one of Japan’s major exporters of energy. According to The Diplomat, Tehran was Tokyo’s sixth largest crude supplier in 2017.

Thus, Japan has its own interests in Iran, as it has a huge demand for energy from this Persian Gulf nation. Except for being in line with Washington over politics with these countries, Tokyo’s interest in Middle Eastern countries rests on the requirement of energy. Therefore, Japan has an economic dependency on Iran and cannot afford to enter into a standoff with countries rich in energy.

Furthermore, in recent years, Japan has been seeking to be a great power in politics, over and above exercising significant economic influence. Japan shows a proclivity to participate in not only East Asian, but also international affairs such as mediating US-Iran tensions. This shows that Tokyo intends to augment its international standing and make its voice heard globally.

It is a challenge for Japan to balance its political and economic interests as it needs to be politically consistent with the US while satisfying its energy demand.

The Trump administration has heightened tensions with Iran by imposing economic sanctions. Besides the nuclear issue, other reasons, for instance the Islamic Republic’s style of governance, also contributed to Washington-Tehran dispute. However, Trump said on May 27 that Washington is not looking for a “regime change” in Tehran.

With escalating US-Iran tensions, Abe’s visit can further cement Japan’s alliance with the US and deepen ties with Iran. By taking advantage of its relations with Tehran, Abe can play a role in mediating their tensions. He would convey Washington’s views to Tehran. However, it remains to be seen how good a mediator can Japan be.

The debate between Fox Business’ Trish Regan and China Global Television Network (CGTN)’s Liu Xin began around 8:30 on Thursday (Beijing time) and lasted only 16 minutes, much shorter than people had expected. The debate went more like an interview where Regan kept throwing questions and Liu responded.

Before the debate started, other topics and an advertisement were broadcast, including a long talk by Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido. After the event, Michael Pillsbury from Washington DC-based Hudson Institute, who is known for his anti-China stance, appeared to make his comments.

The international community has shown interest in the debate mainly because of the conflict between China and the US, which has gone far beyond being a squabble to do with trade. There is increasingly intense exchange of opinions but both sides barely conceded to each other’s stance.

A straight-out face-to-face talk between the two anchors would have been generally welcomed, although there are some people who just wanted to be bystanders.

Anyway, the debate has made headlines. This shows that there was too little effective communication between Beijing and Washington. The US is a country where the press is largely free but their reports about the trade war and China have been colored with views of the US political elite. The voice that reflects China’s views can hardly spread in the US. American media outlets would censor China’s voices to fit the agenda set by the US administration, thus rendering the message going across almost ineffectual.

There were no big flaws in the anchors’ performance in the debate. Regan was aggressive while talking about China in an earlier broadcast, but this time she was restrained – more like an anchor. In the meantime, Liu was humble and candid. The whole dialogue was cordial.

What they talked about was not surprising – the possibility of zero tariffs between China and the US, disputes about intellectual property, and whether China is a developing or developed country. When the debate began, Regan introduced Liu as a member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), but Liu corrected Regan by saying that she was not, “Please don’t assume that I’m a member. And I don’t speak for the CPC. Here, today, I’m only speaking for myself as Liu Xin, a journalist working for CGTN.”

This has demonstrated that Regan, as well as many other US media staff, don’t understand how the Chinese system led by the CPC works. They have taken many things for granted. Such misunderstanding colors US public opinion about China.

Apparently, the brief dialogue came short on being thorough. It was far from meeting people’s expectation. But it was still regarded as conducive. It is better to make such efforts rather than desisting from trying to have effective communication between China and the US.

We hope the debate could remind people of the importance of China-US talks and help the two countries get rid of political shackles and utilitarianism in consultations and strive to break the estrangement.

Have the anchors set a good example? It depends on what happens in the future. We hope people can say “yes” when they look back someday.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the major topics in the current world. Will AI replace humans and deplete employment opportunities? What should we do to stay competitive? Where is the so-called AI war between major powers heading? Global Times (GT) reporter Li Qingqing discussed these and more with Martin Ford (Ford) at the recent 16th Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Ford is a futurist and founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development company and author of several bestselling books on AI.

GT: In your TED Talks in 2017, you mentioned a 1964 Triple Revolution report and said the US is on the edge of an economic and social upheaval because industrial automation was going to put millions out of work. Will this come true in the foreseeable future?

Ford: At the minimum, AI is going to make things more unequal. Some jobs will definitely disappear entirely. Another thing that will happen is that at some point, people had to have a lot of training to do a job, but now technology comes along, and anyone can do the job. For example, taxi drivers. The taxi drivers in London were required to undergo extensive education. Now, GPS and Google maps come along, and anyone can do the job.

I think this will be very destructive in 10 or 15 years. For some groups of workers, there definitely could be unemployment. Similar fears have been raised many times in the past, and it has not happened yet. Even though it hasn’t happened for a long time, eventually, it could happen. Things do not stay the same forever.

Elon Musk said that in years, there will be millions of fully autonomous robotic Teslas on the road. That was a good example of hype. I don’t think that is going to happen in years. In the short run, we tend to overestimate the pace of change. But in the long run, we underestimate it.

GT: AI benefits human society, but it brings challenges and risks to our security and governance as well. As AI has had problems including opaque decision-making processes and algorithmic bias, is our future world becoming more uncertain and unreliable?

Ford: There are two sides of AI. On one side, it is going to be a huge benefit to all of us. It can be a tool that brings medical breakthroughs which make human beings healthier, or brings us scientific achievements that may help resolve climate change.

On the other side, there are things we need to worry about, such as AI systems that can be hacked and thus leak our privacy. Another thing I often talk about is increasing inequality. The potential for bias rises because the data that you train the algorithm on comes from people. For example, there is a company in the US that stopped using its AI system to screen resumes for new jobs, because the system was biased against women. It happens because the data that the algorithm was trained on is also biased. People are now working on to fix the problem, and it’s actually easier to fix biases in an algorithm than it is in human beings. We may not rely on algorithms totally, but hopefully in the future, an algorithm can act as a second opinion that checks us, and if we are too biased, the algorithm will find that.

Recently, an organization named OpenAI made a very powerful AI fake text generator. It can generate stories. If you give it one sentence, it will automatically generate a whole narrative. It is very coherent. Imagine that in the future, machines literally generate junk information that is meaningless, and this will make our whole system overwhelmed. These are all real risks, and these are the areas where we really need regulations.

GT: In April, the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group on AI published its Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI. According to the guidelines, trustworthy AI should be lawful, ethical, and robust. Will the guidelines help regulate the AI industry, or will they kill AI’s development potential?

Ford: I’m not too concerned about the guidelines. Guidelines are important, but they can be very fuzzy. The question is that you need to have really heavy regulations instead of guidelines. Specific AI applications would definitely need regulations, such as self-driving cars or in the medical field. Since we’ve regulated cars and doctors, so of course, self-driving cars and medical-related AI need regulations.

What would be dangerous that might hold things back is the regulation on AI’s general basic research. I hope that AI regulations will not be too broad, but focused on specific areas. As long as we do it carefully, then I don’t think it would hold back development.

The disconnect between US President Donald Trump and John Bolton, his national security adviser, has flooded into the public realm in recent days, making the world more confused about US foreign policy. The capricious version of President Trump seems to be making a comeback.

During a four-day visit to Japan that ended Tuesday, Trump’s remarks about Iran and North Korea “contradicted Bolton on high-stakes confrontations” with the two countries, reported the New York Times.

In late March last year, Trump was “pleased to announce” Bolton as his new, also third, national security adviser. Chinese analysts believed they were a perfect match as both of them advocated that the US should hold a strong stance against its rivals.

Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised by the disparity that has spilled over in such a short time. In just one year, 2018, Trump reappointed five top aides including secretary of state, national security adviser and attorney general.

The disorder of Trump nominating his cabinet members has left US foreign policy in a mess. We can see that havoc particularly in the trade talks with China. Trump repeatedly changed his mind at the eleventh hour and left the deal hanging in the air. We have to say such capriciousness has ruined the world’s trust in the US.

Mutual trust is the best bond in international relations. Relying on trust, different countries have jointly worked out measures to cope with global challenges and they are able to cooperate and develop amid complex international landscapes.

Trump doesn’t buy that. He doesn’t think trust is so important. He would fire at will a cabinet member he disliked and nominate a new one, and thus cause disorder in foreign policy. No one knows what he wants or what he will do. Hence US allies dare not fully trust the US.

Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister, said Trump’s trip to Europe in July was “an unmitigated disaster.” During that trip, Trump slammed Germany and other NATO allies for not meeting their spending commitments and repeatedly questioned the relevance of NATO in the current world. German foreign minister Heiko Maas said, “We can no longer fully rely on the White House.” In the meantime, European Council President Donald Tusk noted, “Dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don’t have that many.”

The abrupt resignation of US former national security adviser Jim Mattis has spread panic among US allies in the Asia-Pacific including South Korea. Before Mattis found himself at odds with Trump, trust between Washington and Seoul had already appeared to be melting away because of their different attitude toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Moreover, an October Pew Research Center survey found 70 percent of people in 25 nations surveyed do not have confidence in Trump’s handling of international issues.

Huawei said FedEx diverted two parcels sent from Japan and destined for Huawei address in China to the US and attempted to reroute two others sent from Vietnam to Huawei offices elsewhere in Asia: all without Huawei authorization. The Chinese tech giant will review its cooperation with FedEx. FedEx claimed it was “an isolated issue limited to a very small number of packages.”

But a majority of people would link the incident to the US all-round suppression of Huawei: Is FedEx cooperating with some US government order? Of course there is another possible reason: FedEx’s service is so shockingly bad that four parcels sent by one company from two different countries have been misrouted within a couple of days. Such an error rate could be fatal for a package delivery company.

How would the US media react if the incident happened between a US high-tech company and a Chinese package delivery company? Not only the US media but also senators and even high-level officials would accuse the Chinese government of manipulating behind the curtain. Now the US media tolerates way too much of its country’s irrational and illogical moves and even argues for their rationality.

But in China, Huawei merely told media about the incident, stuck to the facts and reconsidered its relationship with FedEx. It didn’t directly accuse FedEx of helping its government with dirty tricks. Neither did the Chinese government give any response to the issue as of press time on Tuesday. Likewise, Chinese media didn’t carry out nationalist incitement when it analyzed the possibility that FedEx assisted the US government.

This is Chinese society’s rational reaction amid intensifying China-US disputes. By comparison, the US seems aggressive. US officials, senators and media all have a tendency toward double standards. Relying on its strength, it seems that the US does not care about morality and justice. People are increasingly worried that the US can do anything bad.

It’s time for US society to propel the Washington elite to seriously reflect on themselves. Is FedEx allowed to make such an error seemingly with government intervention? Should the supply cut-off to Huawei without any credible legal basis be encouraged? How many international rules has the US violated? How many treaties has the US ruined? Are all of these proper behaviors for a self-proclaimed world leader?

The US government has been acting recklessly. Where have those critical public opinion organs been? The Wall Street Journal published an article on Saturday headlined “Huawei’s yearslong rise is littered with accusations of theft and dubious ethics,” wantonly slandering the global 5G leader and citing one-sided examples without basic objectivity.

Washington accused Huawei of being subject to government control and proclaimed there were “hidden backdoors” in Huawei’s devices. But no evidence has yet been found. By contrast, problems with US equipment have been constantly detected, and now FedEx has diverted packages. Not to mention the PRISM project that shocked the world. So which country of the two is the true risk to world information security? Has the sensitivity of US public opinion been overwhelmed by anti-China sentiment stimulated by those Washington right-wing elites?

China is very restrained. We hope the US can see rationality and calm from our restraint, rather than weakness. There is always a price to pay for being evil. Is the US doing evil by cracking down on Huawei and launching its brutal tariff war against China? US public opinion should figure this out by itself.

Brexit has been going on for more than 30 months. Having experienced the Brexit referendum, Theresa May taking over as British prime minister, conflicts between the Conservative and Labourites, the internal Tory dissent, etc., Brexit ushered a new twist – with May’s withdrawal deal dead in the water, she had no alternative but to resign. The 46-year marriage between Britain and Europe has not ended yet, nor is the great cause of British politicians. Regardless of who will replace May, whether and how to leave the European Union (EU) remains the focus of debate in British politics, in that there is no turning back. And the prospects of Brexit in the post-May government have not diminished, but increased.

May’s resignation was expected. Compared to the conflicts between London and Brussels, the internal challenge of Brexit was more difficult, because May was under attack from both parties, which increased the difficulty and uncertainty of Brexit.

First, when May lost her parliamentary majority in a snap election in 2017, the hung parliament deprived her control over Brexit negotiations and weakened her ability to push Britain out of Europe. In addition, the Conservative Party had to face the challenge of the Labour Party, especially its aggressive leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Second, more than a dozen Conservative and Labour MPs exited their original camps and established new independent groups. Despite their unclear position, mode of operation and influence, independent groups are bound to become a force in British politics.

Last, May’s cabinet members not only dropped their support and cast votes of no-confidence in her leadership, but also resisted the hard Brexit, for they rejected May’s Brexit agreements, saying that they are not in Britain’s national interest. If more and more Conservatives turn against May, the party’s slim majority would disappear. Moreover, neither a hard nor soft Brexit deal can be satisfactory. And May had been unable to gain the support of her cabinet members and MPs.

What impact will May’s resignation have on Brexit? For the UK, a successor is the top priority, however, no matter which Conservative politician takes her place, he or she must face the unsettled Brexit, the increasingly divided political landscape, and ever-increasing public dissatisfaction. If these problems and the Conservative Party’s domestic policies, such as fiscal austerity policy, are not handled properly, it may give a chance to the Labour Party to win a general election.

Although the UK is an old power with a stable political structure, it has already consumed a lot of resources to leave the EU. Brexit is becoming a platform and tool for the struggle of political elites, giving rise to complaints from the business community and the public. Therefore, the UK will be caught in the dual crisis of political chaos and economic fatigue.

In terms of the EU, regardless of who the new prime minister is, the UK has to launch negotiations. Even if a hardliner like Boris Johnson becomes prime minister and pushes for a more decisive and tougher Brexit deal, the UK still needs to face 27 EU countries.

The European Parliament elections will also affect Brexit negotiations, because the European Parliament needs to ratify the deal. Subsequently, the appointment of the presidents in the European Commission and the European Council will influence Britain’s exit from the EU. Before the end of the new Brexit deadline on October 31, all kinds of scenarios are possible.

It seems that Brexit has created a growing rift between and within Britain’s political parties. Also, it will hit both the UK and the EU. If the UK eventually leaves the EU, for one thing, the UK will no longer enjoy the four freedoms of the EU – freedom of the movement of goods, services, capital and people; for another, the EU will no longer have an economy that will affect its international status and prospects for European integration.

The Brexit crisis will not automatically drive the UK closer to China. The Sino-British free trade agreement, once considered a potential breakthrough, is also off the agenda due to the ups and downs of the Brexit process.

However, there is huge space and a possibility for China-UK cooperation, such as the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, financial cooperation and so on. The quality of China’s development and its speed of opening-up will prompt the UK and the EU to take the initiative to cooperate with China.

Ford: There will definitely be a race, because AI is incredibly powerful technology. It can be used in many sectors like business, commerce, military, and security. There will be competition between China and US businesses, between Google and Tencent, and also competition between the Chinese, Russian, and US governments.

I think China-US AI competition is inevitable and healthy. It is a good thing when you have businesses like Google, Facebook, Tencent, and Baidu competing with each other. But there is a more dystopian danger: an AI arms race. AI is not commercial technology – it is something that may be applied to the military sphere and national security. We know there is competition between the US, China, and Russia, and that could have negative effects.

GT: Some say that a country should focus on its own AI development and prevent technological leaks to other countries, while others say technology has no borders and countries should work together against AI’s potential risks. Which point of view do you prefer?

Ford: In general, we should all work together, and that’s kind of the way it is now. The top AI researchers in China and the US publish academic papers, and they can all read about each other’s breakthroughs. It’s fairly open now, and it is very important to have global conversations.

Ideally, I hope countries can work together, and there will be platforms like the UN where we can talk about the application of these technologies and work together toward appropriate regulations and guidelines. But everyone knows it’s hard in the real world, especially when AI technologies have national security applications or can be used for military purposes. Then the situation would be totally different.

GT: Will China and the US start a zero-sum AI war, or will the two influence and interact with each other in the area?

Ford: Hopefully China and the US can work together, and it will be a healthy competition that makes us all better off. Competition is good, and it pushes people to innovate. You don’t want to become too destructive, and you don’t want a military competition in which people are building weapons.

It is true that most AI research and development is especially concentrated in the US and China right now, but AI development is also happening in many other countries. For example, Google just opened a research center in Africa. The key is, regardless of where the technology is actually developed, AI will become a utility similar to electricity. Electricity is everywhere, and you will see AI used throughout the world. Everyone could ultimately benefit from the advances that come with the technology. This is truly a global phenomenon.

GT: A Dutch peace group named PAX said that many countries are currently applying AI to warfare. PAX called it “lethal autonomous weapon” or simply “killer robots.” How will an AI arms race, if it is really around the corner, affect the whole human community?

Ford: This is a scary scenario. People worry about autonomous weaponry because it might not be used only by the military but could become more generally available and may be accessible to terrorists. That would be scary. The debate over autonomous weapons is because people are uncomfortable with the idea that weapons could make a decision on its own to shoot someone, without human authorization. What’s even scarier is that we are not talking about just one drone or one robot, but hundreds or thousands of them that swarm together.

The barrier of using these technologies is quite low. It is not like nuclear weapons – you have to be a country, and you need to have resources to make nuclear weapons. Bad people can buy drones on Amazon or Alibaba, then work on them such as install software and turn them into weapons. Anyone can do this, and that’s one of the reasons why people are concerned about this and want to put restrictions on them. Even if these kinds of weapons are only used by the military, it could increase the probability of war. People could see how the cost of war is lower, because the lives of soldiers wouldn’t be at risk anymore. So it is important that we regulate these technologies.

Chinese authorities announced on Saturday that relevant department has decided to open an investigation into whether FedEx violated the legitimate rights and interests of its Chinese clients. Huawei recently revealed to the media that FedEx had diverted two parcels sent from Japan destined for an address in China to the US, and two others from Vietnam to Hong Kong and Singapore respectively were also diverted to a US address after delay.

Although FedEx claimed that these were “mistakenly routed,” public opinion has questioned that the US government is behind the unscrupulous acts by the American company. Such “mistakes” go contrary to the normal service standards of FedEx.

It is pertinent that Huawei has been under sustained persecution by the US administration. The four parcels mistakenly routed all have the final address in the US.

Notwithstanding that the FedEx moves were deliberate or just mistakes, they have posed threats to the technology company’s security interests and violated laws and regulations of China’s express delivery industry. It is fair as well as a responsibility of Chinese authorities to launch an investigation into FedEx.

The announcement of Chinese authorities was brief and did not point at public skepticism about FedEx or Huawei. This shows that the government will wait for and respect investigation results without rushing to any conclusion.

This is a responsible move. The US has without a shred of evidence alleged that Huawei poses a threat to its national security. It has not only cracked down on Huawei, but also forced its allies to boycott the tech giant’s products. In doing so, Washington has jettisoned the rule of law and brazenly violated the principles of international justice and commercial rules.

The US has been accusing without proof Chinese companies of being controlled by the government and telecommunication firms such as Huawei are gathering intelligence for China. However, relations between Washington and US companies are upending people’s understanding of the relationship between politics and business in the market economy.

The US is using its economic resources as political tool at will. Washington has imposed the most frequent and intense economic sanctions on other countries, and US companies have become political tools of the government. In a democratic context, US companies did not try to curb the abuse of the country’s economic leverage by the government, while only subjecting themselves to Washington’s actions.

People also have reasons to believe US intelligence organs have penetrated into some enterprises and their economic activities. In his 2014 book No Place to Hide, former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed that US intelligence agencies routinely intercepted routers and other computer network devices and implanted backdoor surveillance tools, repackaged the devices and sent them on.

We suspect that the US is planting its own infiltration actions on Chinese government and enterprises. What the US alleged has never been on the mind of Chinese people and only recidivists can make up such stories.

It is believed that the Chinese government can handle the FedEx investigation in a fair and just manner. Although the incident took place at the peak of the China-US trade war, the investigation process should not be affected. It should be independent and comply with the law. This is the essence of law and is in line with the principles of China’s reform and opening-up.