Inclusiveness key to developing 5G

Should international technology cooperation be politicised? How will the attempt to place geopolitical factors before global joint efforts impede the progress of technology development on a global basis? These are questions many countries have to ask because of what the US is doing in its attempts to exert pressure on as many countries as possible to exclude China’s telecommunications giant Huawei from participating in the construction of their 5G networks.

In the latest development, two US sources were quoted as saying that Robert Blair, the US president’s special representative for international telecommunications policy, planned to underscore that a decision by Canada to include Huawei in its 5G network could jeopardise its access to US intelligence before he discussed the “importance of a secure and reliable next generation telecommunications infrastructure” and the defence partnership between the US and Canada.

The US is also reportedly exerting pressure on Brazil to exclude Huawei from the development of its 5G network by referring to Brazil’s use of equipment from Huawei as a political hurdle to its cooperation with the US in defence and intelligence.

Indeed, the US is desperate in its attempt to stigmatise and block Huawei. But it will hardly succeed. Statistics from Huawei show that it has already obtained 91 5G-related commercial contracts worldwide, 47 in Europe and 27 in Asia and 80 per cent of major telecoms network in Africa are constructed by Huawei and other Chinese telecoms companies.

No matter how the US exerts pressure or even issues threats trying to coerce other countries to do its bidding, the fact that cooperation with China’s Huawei will bring those countries benefits for common development can hardly be denied.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that the US, by politicising what should otherwise be free of ideological and political interference, is being a troublemaker for the global development of science and technology.

Such interference, a result of the Cold War mentality in the US, will only disrupt the global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain, which will be detrimental to the interests of many countries.

The US seems to have forgotten that the advancement of its high technologies in the past several decades are based on global cooperation with many countries. It is the globalisation over the past several decades that has promoted the rapid development of science and technology.

China has always been open to cooperation with Intel, Ericsson, Nokia and other foreign companies when it comes to the development of its 5G networks as it knows that global participation and cooperation is important in the making of standards for the development of 5G networks.

Inclusiveness and cooperation are the right choice for the global development of 5G networks to benefit mankind.