“Political fences” unable to contain technological cooperatio

By Zhong Sheng
The technology of 5G is embracing faster development and wider application, and it shall be welcomed by the entire world to benefit the people.
It was recently hailed by Bruce Aylward, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) who led a joint mission for field investigation of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in China. The WHO official commended the huge convenience brought by the technology which enabled him and his colleagues in Sichuan Province to communicate with a field team conducting epidemiological investigation in remote areas.
However, American politicians are anxious about its application.
The U.S. Senate recently passed a bill requesting the government to identify security threats within the equipment and software that support 5G wireless networks. A cross-party group of 20 U.S. senators has called on the UK to revisit its recent decision to cooperate with Chinese enterprises. Some of them proposed a bill that would require the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. to review the UK’s place on the foreign investment “whitelist” if it allows Chinese companies to build portions of its 5G infrastructure.
These political petty moves rudely impede the normal technological cooperation and the trend of such cooperation in the global context, making U.S. a real troublemaker.
The so-called “digital autocracy” was cooked up by certain U.S. politicians at this year’s Munich Security Conference to achieve political purposes, who held that 5G network builders unauthorized by the U.S. are a threat to the western system.
However, such mendacity, as new as it might look, still fits in the old-fashioned method applied by the U.S. to politically oppress enterprises – a monodrama watched by none.
Multiple European countries have made it clear that they won’t follow the U.S. to exclude Chinese enterprises in 5G construction. The European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogancalled the threat from the U.S. “saber-rattling” and a “bluff.” The unsuccessful petty moves indicate the lack of support for politicalizing technological cooperation.
The waves of scientific development are unstoppable, and the trend of scientific cooperation conforms to people’s aspiration. They will not be reversed despite the “political traps” set by certain Americans.
Chinese tech giant Huawei announced last month that it has signed 91 commercial contracts on 5G technology, with 47 in Europe and 27 in Asia. The company, together with its Chinese peers constructed around 80 percent of Africa’s major network infrastructure. Besides, multiple telecommunication enterprises in Europe recognize Chinese enterprises as strategic cooperation partners on 5G infrastructure.
Such huge interests of common development brought by cooperation will by no means be denied by threats or slanders from the U.S.
The world should stay alert that the U.S. hegemonic practices are not only stopping Washington’s benefits from scientific and technological cooperation, but also threatening global industrial, supply and value chains and damaging the common interests of global countries.
As an observer pointed out, technological trade is a global industry that relies on a highly-integrated supply chain, which achieves best results with international cooperation. However, he said, if every purchase of telecommunications equipment will be transformed “from a business decision into a geopolitical one”, that will be a more fractured, less prosperous and less peaceful world.
To conform to the trend of time and participate in global technological cooperation with an open mind is the only way out. During the R&D development of the 5G technology, China has never avoided in-depth cooperation with foreign companies such as Intel, Ericsson and Nokia.
The global wireless communication industry has long established a mechanism in which standards are jointly set by multiple parties so as to achieve interconnectivity.
Sanjay Mehrotra, CEO of Micron Technology noted that 5G is not about which country or region has the upper hand. It can bring the benefits of the digital economy to all parts of the world, he said.
The 5G technology has sailed out, and any attempt to politicalize it and impede the development of the world is doomed to failure.
The world has entered the 5G era from the first generation of communication technology in just less than 40 years, raising the curtain for the internet of things. The cutting-edge technology is becoming a shared benefit through the wide consultation and joint contribution made by each country.
“Political fences” will not survive when technologies are driving development of the world. Only the pursuit of win-win results in global cooperation remains the rational and correct choice.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)

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