Politicizing 5G technology does more harm than good
By The Embassy for the People’s Republic of China
Under the political pressure of the US administration, the UK government recently has decided to exclude Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, even though without solid evidence to prove any so-called security risk. UK’s decision blatantly violated the market economy principles and free trade rules as well as its own commitments, severely damaged the legitimate interests of the Chinese company and eroded mutual trust underpinning China-UK cooperation.
The so-called "back doors", and other security risks of Huawei product as cited by the US and the FIVE Eye allies are purely rumour-mongering and slandering. Huawei has been providing services in more than 170 countries, and no one has ever raised the issue of security or complaints with Huawei. Huawei has publicly pledged that it could sign a no-backdoor agreement with any government and organization. Huawei has even set up a cyber-security testing centre in the UK, and the UK security experts and technicians, engineers have been testing Huawei products in the past more than 10 years, and they have found nothing about the so-called back door or other security risks.
The spokesperson for the UK Prime Minister indicated the UK's decision to overturn its position on Huawei is due to political pressure from the US. US President Trump claimed this credit publicly and at a White House press conference on July 14 that he talked many countries out of using Huawei. This is further proof that decisions to ban Huawei are not about national security, but political manipulation. UK companies like BT and Vodafone have voiced their objection to the decision of the UK government. By deciding to ban Huawei, UK has not only lost 20 billion pounds and 2 years of progress, but also its independence of foreign policy, credibility in honouring its commercial commitment and compromised its own interests.
The all-around sanction on Huawei by the US with the excuse of national security is totally groundless, out of common sense and illogical. The US has not only banned Huawei products in the US but also are trying to coerce other countries, especially allies and western countries, including developing countries to reject Huawei products. The only Superpower of the world is mobilizing all its national strength to block, contain and defame a private Chinese company, harming other countries' interests without benefiting its own national interest. According to their logic, the only sin of Huawei is that Huawei is a Chinese company, the only problem with Huawei is that Huawei is doing too much better than the west in 5G technology development. This is nothing but hegemonic bullying.
When the US is making groundless accusations about Huawei, more and more evidence have come out to prove that, it is the US that has been the threat of Cyber Security. According to information disclosed from Wikileaks by Assange, and Prism project by Edward Snowden, the US has been taking advantage of its technical dominance and supremacy to spy on other countries, including its allies. The US has been collecting nearly five billion mobile phone call records across the globe daily. China has always been the target of the US and the victim of a cyber attack. It is reported that the US controlling over 3 million Chinese computers and implanting Trojan Horse in more than 3,600 Chinese websites on an annual basis. It is a tawdry trick that while claiming a private company could even be a threat to the nation's security, the US keeps playing the victim of a cyber attack, like a thief crying “stop thief”.
Huawei, a non-western private high-tech company, is now taking the lead in 5G technology and owns the largest number of 5G patents, which is totally unacceptable for the US. Out of self-interest to maintain the so-called "America First", the US abuses its hegemony and the reference of its domestic laws to take "long-arm jurisdiction" over Huawei, in a bid to overturn Huawei's leading role in 5G development. All the actions against Huawei by the US government are to control the international network and data, suppress other countries leading advantage, and safeguard its digital hegemony. Huawei products have a high security standard and will surely endure the storm.
By fabricating accusations against Huawei, US attempts to give Huawei a bad name, subjugating its market expansion, and coerce foreign countries to take sides against Huawei. This will cut off the global value chain and supply chain, and seriously undermine and distort the international market order of fair competition. The US high officials, such as the State Secretary, security adviser, FBI Director have been bluffing and hyping up bad stories about Huawei. Because the western media have the dominant discourse in the world, these false accusations have confused some people. However, any wise country and people will be able to make its own independent and objective judgment and conclusion about this.
While forcing other countries to give up cooperation with Huawei, the US could not provide any 5G technologies and equipment as substitutions. This will severely violate the inherent development rights of other countries and impairs those countries' national interests. As the pioneer in 5G technology, Huawei is the world's largest network equipment supplier and its 5G equipment production will not be influenced by US supplies disruption by any means. It is an indispensable network infrastructure supplier for any country that would like to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to achieve innovative development. While only several US allies have followed US' order to shy away from Huawei technology, more than 170 countries have continued their cooperation with Huawei.
Huawei is an important contributor to the development of the African telecommunications industry. It has planted roots across Africa since 1998 and now operates in 54 countries, covering 2/3 of the African population. Huawei has also partnered with over 220 mobile operators, trained more than 50,000 ICT professionals and created numerous jobs on the continent.
Since the year of 1998, Huawei has been a major partner for the development of telecommunications infrastructure in South Africa. Huawei provides service to 80% of South Africa's population. It maintains close cooperation with all key operators in South Africa. Over 50% of its employees in South Africa are local, and Huawei itself has been awarded Top Employer in South Africa for many years. Huawei is ready to provide another 500 jobs to local communities and train more than 10,000 ICT professionals in the next five years.
H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa made it clear on many occasions to express the solid and strong support to Huawei on 5G. At the 4IRSA digital economy summit in Johannesburg last year, H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned Huawei could lead South Africa to 5G, and the US action against Huawei makes no sense. The development of technology will benefit everyone, while blockading and cracking is not conducive to the promotion and application of new technology, which will only harm others without benefit oneself.
China and South Africa are comprehensive strategic partners. IT infrastructure and connectivity is one important part of China and South Africa’s cooperation. China strongly supports SA’s efforts to explore its national development, with the digital economy as the core. By cooperating with Huawei, SA is the first African country to start the commercial use of 5G and has taken the leading position in this area. SA now has the advantage and opportunity to apply the overtaking strategy to realize faster social and economic development.
Huawei’s corporate value is to “Grow Together with Clients.” It has set a good example in fulfilling its corporate responsibility by paying due taxes, creating jobs, localization of staff, professional training, etc. It has also been doing a great job in fulfilling social responsibilities by making donations to local communities. In fighting against Covid-19, it donated 1 million rands and 1 million masks to South Africa and is ready to do more in the future. We believe that Huawei will continue to be a pioneer in China and South Africa cooperation.
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL.