I’ve spent the past several days reading up on 5G wireless technology and its implications for the “Great Power Competition” (GPC) between the U.S. and China. On Tuesday, the U.K. government decided, against the wishes of the U.S., to allow China to play a role in developing its 5G networks. That’s a big deal.
While this may not have been a full-fledged battle in the GPC era, it was a skirmish. The U.S. and the Trump administration lost. The British will reportedly limit the market share of Huawei, one of China’s main manufacturers, and also restrict its products to industries that aren’t security sensitive. But still, Huawei is being allowed into the U.K.’s burgeoning 5G networks despite some dramatic warnings from U.S. officials and elected representatives.
“Can you imagine a situation where, in the ’80s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher have a conversation and they say, ‘You know, I think we should have the KGB come and build all of our telecommunications and computer network systems because they’re offering a great discount’,” President Trump’s deputy national security adviser, Matthew Pottinger, recently said.