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  Opinion   Edit  01 Jan 2020  Nod to Huawei a balancing act?

Nod to Huawei a balancing act?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 1, 2020, 1:24 am IST
Updated : Jan 1, 2020, 1:24 am IST

Nevertheless, it’s in India’s larger interest to develop a domestic telecom equipment maker with a global footprint.

Huawei, a Shenzen-based private telecom firm founded by a former Chinese military technologist, Ren Zhengfei, has been in the eye of a storm as Sino-US trade relations worsen.
 Huawei, a Shenzen-based private telecom firm founded by a former Chinese military technologist, Ren Zhengfei, has been in the eye of a storm as Sino-US trade relations worsen.

The Centre’s decision to allow Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies to participate in the trial run of telecom services using the 5G spectrum appears to be a balancing act, intended to avoid getting trapped into superpower rivalry between the United States and China.

Huawei, a Shenzen-based private telecom firm founded by a former Chinese military technologist, Ren Zhengfei, has been in the eye of a storm as Sino-US trade relations worsen. Washington barred US companies from using Huawei equipment in 5G’s rollout as it sees a national security threat if the Chinese company’s equipment was used in its telecom infrastructure. Given the changing nature of war in this century and the prospects of a rising China, America’s stand on Huawei seems plausible. But one can’t rule out the possibility of President Donald Trump’s administration using its global clout to block Huawei, that is fast becoming a threat to the American monopoly on advanced technology worldwide.

 

Despite China being India’s major rival in the region, New Delhi doesn’t have any commercial interest in blocking Huawei’s dealings with Indian companies. Nevertheless, it’s in India’s larger interest to develop a domestic telecom equipment maker with a global footprint. The transformation of Huawei — from a company that is said to have sought technology collaboration from Indian state-run telecom gear maker ITI Ltd in the late 1980s to an awe-inspiring global giant in just 20 years — should serve as an important lesson to Indian policymakers.

In view of Huawei’s alleged links with China’s military, however, India shouldn’t allow any single telecom firm from acquiring monopoly over our telecom infrastructure in the interests of national security. In a balancing act, it would do well to bar BSNL or any other entity, which operates Indian military and strategic communications, from using Chinese equipment.

 

Tags: huawei technologies