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The tension between China Y America They are committed to business, geopolitics and technology sectors. Recently, a new chapter of controversy has opened with legal battles between the Chinese company Byte Dance and the Chinese citizens TikTok with the states of Montana and Florida, who have a completely opposite climate but share a critical and challenging position towards Beijing. .

Meera: $10,000 a day fine: What’s behind the harsh TikTok ban in the US?

In recent months, in addition to high-profile diplomatic and security conflicts, such as the status of Taiwan or the Asian giant’s stance on the war in Ukraine, Washington and Beijing have had more concrete conflicts.

First, spy balloons flew for several days in the United States. Despite Beijing’s apology, US President Joe Biden issued a strong warning to Beijing. “And China Threats to our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.”The Democrat said last February.

Most recently, in mid-April, the powers that be added new discord when it became known that New York authorities had launched an arrest operation targeting secret police stations. China In the heart of New York.

These days, new sources of tension between Washington and Beijing are the TikTok video app and legislation affecting Chinese citizens in the United States.

Montana and tough law against TikTok

In the cold state of Montana, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the draconian legislation last week. TikTok It has been accepted so far in the United States.

Basically, the government decided to completely ban the popular video app and imposed fines of $10,000 per day for each day of non-compliance. This rule goes beyond the restrictions in place in other states, where applicable TikTok For public authorities.

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The US fears the Chinese government could use data from social network TikTok (Photo: AFP)

Gianforte said on Twitter that he supports the ban “to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”

The rule, which takes effect next year, would serve as a legal test for a nationwide ban on the Chinese-owned platform, which lawmakers in Washington are increasingly calling for. TikTok is facing an ultimatum from the White House to part ways with its Chinese owners or stop operating in the US.

Meanwhile, the move has already sparked several court battles. Five Montana-based TikTok content creators have already filed a lawsuit in federal court arguing the ban is illegal and violates free speech.

Not only that. TikTok On Monday, Montana filed a lawsuit in federal court to block the state from implementing a total ban on the social video network.

“We are confident that we will prevail (…) We believe that the recently passed law in Montana is simply unconstitutional”This was announced on Tuesday 23 by General Director of the social network, Sho Chi Siew, during the Qatar Economic Forum.

The app has already been banned on government devices in the US, Canada and several countries in Europe.

Ban on buying property

tension with China It has also strengthened in Florida. On Monday, a group of Chinese nationals who live and work there sued the government over a new law barring Chinese and other nationalities from buying property in large parts of the state.

The law, which takes effect July 1, makes it a crime for Chinese citizens and citizens of Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, Iran, Russia and North Korea to buy property within a 10-mile radius of military installations. and other “critical infrastructure”.

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Thus, the aforementioned citizens cannot purchase property in restricted areas, which includes agricultural land.

What is notable about this case is that while the provision applies to various nationalities, Chinese nationals and those who sell property to them are heavily penalized. The move is said to pose a threat to national security.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says the law unfairly equates people from China with their government’s actions and expands “domestic discrimination against people of Asian descent.”

Like Montana, Florida is led by Republicans, and in this case the top tier. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the bill on May 8, is scheduled to announce his presidential campaign on Wednesday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Republican, speaks during an expo on the evening of May 21, 2023 in Orlando, Florida, U.S. (Photo by Giorgio Vieira / EFE)

point of view

“These conflicts will become more and more common.”

Carlos Aquino

Director of the Asian Studies Center at the National University of San Marcos

These episodes show a build-up of tension. China and the US are increasingly at odds, and it is no longer about US sanctions, restrictions on China or overt support for Taiwan. What’s interesting about this is that the US has elections next year, so I think the closer those elections get, the more of these conflicts there will be.

Interestingly, the governors who took these actions against China or against the Chinese were Republicans. They want to appear anti-China. It is not surprising that these governors are on the anti-China front as the coming elections will focus on who is more anti-China and who is anti-China. Especially Ron DeSantis because he can even compete with Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

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As elections approach, more and more politicians, especially those from red states, will try to take some steps to appear anti-China. But of course, America is argued to be a democracy in which everyone can exercise their rights and obviously there are reactions to these actions. TikTok has sued and Chinese citizens in Florida have also sued the state of Florida over the ban. I think it will increase. Tensions are no longer just between governments, but even at the state level in America. That is the trend.

America’s stance on China now transcends political boundaries. When Donald Trump was in office, Republicans were said to be anti-China, but we don’t see that changing with Joe Biden. Democrats and Republicans are very hard on China, so I’m afraid this stance is going to continue, especially with Republicans, who have traditionally been more protective, at least in recent years.

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