We welcome the British government’s decision, as announced on July 14, to ban new 5G equipment made by the Chinese telecom giant Huawei over a gradual process.
It will protect other free nations from totalitarian China and its pursuit of digital supremacy.
According to the United Kingdom’s leading media, the British government has decided to ban the purchase of Huawei 5G equipment from the end of 2020 onward, and remove all of the company’s products from 5G communication networks by 2027.
In January this year, the U.K. government approved limited use of Huawei equipment by British 5G networks. This reversal followed the United States government’s calls for the U.K. to distance itself from Huawei, pointing out the security risks of using the company’s products.
Subsequently, the U.K. hardened its policy out of distrust in the wake of the widespread damage caused by the Chinese government’s COVID-19 cover-up and the imposition of a new security law over Hong Kong.
According to a report by the U.K.’s National Cybersecurity Center, the security of Huawei products can no longer be guaranteed, following a report by the U.S. government in May and toughening of sanctions banning American exports to Huawei.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly said that he does not want key British infrastructure to be controlled by a company from a hostile country. Johnson sees China as a potential enemy from the perspective of emphasizing national security.
China’s ambassador to the U.K. has hit back, stating that Britain must face retribution if it regards China as an enemy. This kind of intimidating language shows China’s impatience.
In order to replace Huawei, the U.K. government intends to work with companies from countries other than China, such as Japan and its NEC. The British government has even proposed the formation of a “D10” democratic nations alliance — consisting of the G7, Australia, South Korea, and India — designed to challenge China’s pursuit of digital supremacy.
Already, countries such as the U.S., Japan, Australia, and Taiwan have rejected Huawei 5G equipment. With the U.K. joining the club, we can expect this trend to gather momentum.
Two of Canada’s telecom giants have announced plans to work with Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia on 5G. A major telecom firm in Germany has also decided to work with Ericsson. Moreover, France is considering scrapping the use of Huawei 5G equipment and the construction of Huawei factories.
In the drive to develop 5G equipment, it is all the more crucial that Japan develops homegrown technologies through the capital and business alliance of NTT and NEC, and contribute to the construction of communication networks in free nations such as the U.K.
(Click here to read the editorial in Japanese.)
Author: Editorial Board, The Sankei Shimbun