[M]uch of the world is organizing to roadblock China’s march to dominance in 5G telecommunications. That is, to get China’s spying out of our system – although we are far from done, there is a lot of 2020 to build on in 2021.
China’s goal was threefold: to broaden its capabilities in domestic spying, to broaden its worldwide ability to steal Western technology — and, in particular, to infiltrate Western defense capabilities
Beijing inserted itself, often illegally, into American research institutions. And inserted spyware – hardware and software – into computers made in China and exported to the West. In the case of Super Micro Computers, providing services to Amazon, investigators discovered that extra microchips were implanted on boards in Chinese factories by operatives of the People’s Liberation Army.
As the year ended, 26 of 27 EU member countries had joined the Clean Network initiative, along with 180 telecom companies and such important tech players as Israel, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, India – and Taiwan, which is building a 5 nanometer chip production facility in Arizona. Partners in South America include Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.
Early in 2020, Huawei announced it had 91 commercial 5G contracts outside of China, including 47 in Europe and 20 in Asia. In a countermove in April, the U.S. announced the Clean Network initiative and tightened restrictions on Huawei and, later, the Pentagon banned the company from providing services to the Department of Defense.
China’s goal was to broaden its capabilities in domestic spying and its worldwide ability to steal Western technology and, in particular, infiltrate Western defense capabilities.
The Pentagon had been buying large numbers of computer motherboards manufactured in China.However, if DoD in May 2020, had simply cut off purchasing them, the Pentagon would lose computer capability.
As the year ended, 26 of 27 EU member countries had joined the Clean Network initiative, along with 180 telecom companies and such important tech players as Israel, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, India – and Taiwan, which is building a 5 nanometer chip production facility in Arizona to improve America’s ability to produce computer hardware. Partners in South America include Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.
China’s repression of its Uighur minority has begun to make inroads into the American consciousness – although apparently not yet regarding the NBA, Disney and Hollywood.
In addition, the demise of Hong Kong as a democratic city-state, largely unnoticed by the American media, has nevertheless imprinted itself on the consciousness of millions – particularly in the United Kingdom, which had turned Hong Kong over to mainland Chinese rule with a series of “promises” — all broken — from Beijing to respect the democratic government Britain had nurtured, at least until 2047.
The success of the Clean Network, however, is an indication that when the U.S. leads, others will join in for a common benefit.