Many countries are waking up to the threat of Communist China. If the West allows Chinese-owned Huawei to control the 5G infrastructure of the world, it provides the Communist Party unprecedented spying and influencing power. Singapore has now sent a powerful signal that it is backing the West by choosing Nokia and Ericsson over Huawei.
Ericsson and Nokia
Recently, in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News, Attorney General Bill Barr emphasized the importance of keeping the next-generation mobile internet technology, 5G, under Western strategic control. Barr warned that there is “a very high risk” that the Chinese Communist Party would gain access to data transmitted over Huawei’s network.
Barr said that the global market for 5G is estimated to be $90 billion and that China has set aside a fund of $100 billion to subsidize it. He stressed that because this is what we are up against, “ultimately the West has to rally around Ericsson and Nokia,” which he claimed are best poised to compete with Huawei.
The Senate has discussed the possibility of acquiring a minority stake in these companies for strategic purposes.
Not long after Barr’s interview, Singapore’s largest telecom network operators, M1 and StarHub, announced that they had selected Nokia and Ericsson to build its 5G infrastructure. Officially, this was not a political decision, but the timing is conspicuous. It makes sense that geopolitics has played a role.
Now that Hong Kong has been gutted and taken over by the Chinese Communist Party, Taiwan and Singapore are the only remaining free havens in the region. Given that 74% of Singapore’s population is of Chinese descent, it has been an open question where this city-state’s allegiance would land.
Many countries have aligned with China either due to fear or the lure of subsidized investments and trade deals. Singapore is an important trade hub in Southeast Asia, and after securing independence from Malaysia, it is wary of outside influence.
By choosing Ericsson and Nokia, Singapore is signaling that it prefers a Western alliance.
President Donald Trump warned about China in his 2016 election campaign and promised to bring back industries and jobs to America. The COVID-19 pandemic has made his former critics aware of the dangers of leaving essential technologies and products in the hands of a foreign adversary. Significant medicines that Americans consume such as antibiotics are produced in China. The pandemic revealed how much power this gives the Communist regime.
Controlling 5G would give China too much leverage in its apparent imperial ambitions. Trump and his administration have identified 5G as a strategic technology of utmost importance to have under Western control.
Singapore is now onboard, and the United Kingdom has made a U-turn on Huawei. Time will tell if other allies will follow suit.
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