Southeast Asia Adopts Huawei – Ignores Trump Threats
Presently, the Trump administration is engaged in an aggressive, global trade war with China, and the adoption of telecommunications technology is a leading priority for both countries. The argument made by officials in Washington about Chinese forms installing nefarious ‘backdoors’ into their tech in order to control or spy on host countries – has become a fairly moot point in the post-Snowden world.
First among these potential competitors to US and Five Eyes hegemony is the Chinese firm Huawei, the world’s second biggest smartphone maker, and the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment.
Under Trump, the US has effectively banned any American companies from doing business with Huawei, as well as pressuring other nations to stop using Huawei’s networking suite, claiming that this will somehow make them vulnerable to cyber espionage by the Chinese government. While this strategy has paid some dividends close to home, it’s not working very well in ASEAN region.
Author Joseph Thomas from New Eastern Outlook reports…
The Western media has begun complaining about Southeast Asia’s collective decision to move forward with 5G network technology from Chinese telecom giant Huawei despite US demands that nations ban all Huawei products.
These demands are predicated on clearly fabricated security threats surrounding Huawei technology. The US itself is a global leader of producing hardware with hidden backdoors and other security flaws for the purpose of spying worldwide.
Instead, the US is clearly targeting the telecom giant as part of a wider campaign to cripple China economically and contain its ability to contest US global hegemony.
Media Disinformation Serves the War on Huawei
Articles like Reuters’ “Thailand launches Huawei 5G test bed, even as U.S. urges allies to bar Chinese gear,” in title alone confounds informed readers.
The article’s author, Patpicha Tanakasempipat, fails to explain in which ways the US is “allies” with any of the nations of Southeast Asia, including Thailand. The history of US activity in Southeast Asia has been one of coercion, interference, intervention, colonisation and protracted war.
As US power has faded, it has resorted to “soft power,” with its most recent “pivot to Asia” being accompanied by several failed attempts to overthrow regional governments and replace them with suitable proxies.
Considering this, and a complete lack of suitable US alternatives to Huawei’s products, there is little mystery as to why the region as a whole has ignored US demands regarding Huawei.
The article claims:
Thailand launched a Huawei Technologies 5G test bed on Friday, even as the United States urges its allies to bar the Chinese telecoms giant from building next-generation mobile networks.
Huawei, the world’s top producer of telecoms equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, has been facing mounting international scrutiny amid fears China could use its equipment for espionage, a concern the company says is unfounded.
Patpicha fails categorically to cite any evidence substantiating US claims. She also fails categorically to point out that there is in fact a glaring lack of evidence behind US claims, just as many other articles across the Western media have predictably and purposefully done.
Vietnam, the Outlier
The one exception in Southeast Asia is Vietnam. It has sidestepped considering Huawei in favour of US-based Qualcomm and Scandinavian companies Nokia and Ericsson. While the Vietnamese government said its decision was based on technical concerns rather than geopolitics, a Bloomberg article quoted the CEO of state-owned telecom concern, Viettel Group, who claimed:
We are not going to work with Huawei right now. It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now. There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe.
The same article would also cite supposed experts who claim Vietnam seeks closer ties with the US in countering China’s growing stature upon the global stage, and ultimately folded to US demands because of this.
This however is unlikely. Vietnam – among all of Southeast Asia’s nations – is not an “ally” of Washington…
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