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ICYMI: Rubio: America and Its Allies Must Reject China’s Huawei and Lead on 5G Development

Sep 3, 2020 | Press Releases

America and its allies must reject China’s Huawei and lead on 5G development
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
September 3, 2020
Less than six months ago, it appeared Chinese telecom giant Huawei was winning over America’s European allies. Now, countries that decided to allow Huawei to build their 5G networks are waking up to the dangers posed by allowing Chinese state-directed companies into their infrastructure.

For some, the reversal comes down to growing awareness of the serious accusations aimed at Huawei, ranging from intellectual property theft to enabling Beijing’s digital authoritarianism. Until recently, too many foreign leaders dismissed warnings about allowing Huawei into their telecommunication infrastructure from the Trump Administration as bluster amid trade negotiations.
However, Beijing’s horrific abuses this year are showing the world the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party, forcing countries to be wary of partnering with China on sensitive projects. From covering up the COVID-19 virus in the early days of the outbreak to the crackdown in Hong Kong to its continued human rights violations in Xinjiang, China has provided zero reason for trust.
The shift provides an opening for the U.S. and our partners to work together to ensure alternatives exist. Because Huawei has so far competed against private telecom firms with the force of the Chinese government backing it, legitimate competitors find it difficult if not impossible to compete. 
Countries cutting out Huawei and its cheap, high-risk hardware will have to look for trusted alternatives, such as newer, interoperable open radio access networks (ORANs), which bypass the need for Huawei’s end-to-end proprietary gear and thus are more open to market innovation.
Governments should support innovative telecom companies that are leading the way when it comes to ORAN solutions. In the United States, I have worked with my colleagues on bipartisan legislation, the USA Telecommunications Act, which would provide $750 million in federal funding for research and development of these open and adaptable technologies.

Halting Chinese state-directed companies like Huawei — as well as building a robust, competitive, and secure 5G market internationally — is in the interest of all nations, particularly democracies. As our international partners continue to reject Huawei’s presence, Americans should lead the way in developing the market-based infrastructure that will fill the gap.
The choice between one future characterized by Communist China’s domination, repression, and surveillance and another by collaboration among partner nations is obvious, and now is the moment to begin building it.
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