Beijing slams U.S. plan to counter Chinese ‘threat’ by nationalising 5G

Beijing has issued a response to documents revealing a plan from Trump’s administration to counter the Chinese “threat” by nationalising 5G.

The documents, obtained by news outlet Axios, argued the U.S. government should take over the deployment of a nationwide 5G network. One reason provided by the alleged Nation Security Council official is the fear of China’s advancements.

“Data is the oil of the 21’s century and China has built the world’s largest reserve,” the memo reads. “Building a nationwide secure 5G network sets the condition for future success in the information domain. Not building the network puts us at a permanent disadvantage to China in the information domain.”

5G networks will enable a range of upcoming technologies including self-driving cars, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. Whoever owns the infrastructure behind 5G will have a tremendous amount of power.

The document claims Beijing is "the dominant malicious actor in the information domain," and argues the nationalisation of 5G networks would contribute to protecting US economic and cyber security from China’s threats.

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said:

“Any form of cyber-attacks is forbidden in China and the Chinese authorities are tackling all forms of hacking. As we can see, the militarisation of the Internet threatens international security. We think that all members of the international community should respect each other, strengthen cooperation and dialogue, to mutually fight against cyber threats."

Earlier this month, Telecoms reported U.S. lawmakers approached AT&T and called on the operator to cut ties with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Lawmakers are said to be advising American companies that any ties to companies such as Huawei or China Mobile could hamper their ability to do business with the U.S. government.

Update 29/01

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has issued a statement:

"I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5Gnetwork. The main lesson to draw from the wireless sector's development over the past threedecades—including American leadership in 4G—is that the market, not government, is bestpositioned to drive innovation and investment.

"What government can and should do is to pushspectrum into the commercial marketplace and set rules that encourage the private sector todevelop and deploy next-generation infrastructure. Any federal effort to construct anationalized 5G network would be a costly and counterproductive distraction from the policieswe need to help the United States win the 5G future."

What are your thoughts on the situation? Let us know in the comments.

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