American Enterprise Institute
Earlier this month, our colleague Bronwyn Howell emphasized the high economic costs facing Western nations considering a ban on Huawei equipment in their 5G networks. Her core argument is summed up in one sentence: “Quite simply, Australian and New Zealand political leaders must decide whether they will prioritize US-driven political considerations over local economic ones, which unequivocally rest with China, and by implication, Huawei.” We disagree with two aspects of this assertion: First, despite its recent leadership on the issue, concerns about Huawei are not just “US-driven.” Second, and more fundamentally, the decision is not about politics versus economics, but rather what price countries are willing to pay for secure 5G networks.
While the US has taken the lead in the international campaign to block Huawei from 5G networks, Australia began sounding the alarm in 2018, following an eye-opening war game. That July, Australia announced it would ban Huawei products from its 5G networks. The same month, the UK’s Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board released a report saying it could “provide only limited assurance that all risks to UK national security from Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks have been sufficiently mitigated.” It was not until late 2018 that the US began publicly campaigning for allies to ban Huawei from their 5G networks. Wariness of Huawei began before the current US campaign against the company.
Read more here.
Will Baird and Claude Barfield , August 27, 2019
The presence of Chinese owned technology companies like Huawei raises serious security questions for the United States. Given the level of influence the Chinese Communist Party has over companies that are headquartered in the country, the exportation of Chinese technology creates serious vulnerabilities for any foreign market choosing to procure these products. It is crucial that 5G equipment and other technology components are sourced from a trustworthy manufacturer, and given the deep ties to the CCP Huawei and other Chinese producers have, this equipment does not pass that test.