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Security suspect Huawei fights to contend for India’s 5G procurement

While the US had recently asked its treaty allies and close partners to refrain from using Huawei in the setting up of their 5G wireless telecommunication systems due to serious security concerns, India has not only allowed it to take part in trials but also complimented it for developing the telecom sector in India. (Photo courtesy: BBC)
While the US had recently asked its treaty allies and close partners to refrain from using Huawei in the setting up of their 5G wireless telecommunication systems due to serious security concerns, India has not only allowed it to take part in trials but also complimented it for developing the telecom sector in India. (Photo courtesy: BBC)

(TibetanReview.net, Dec20, 2018) – While the US had recently asked its treaty allies and close partners to refrain from using Huawei in the setting up of their 5G wireless telecommunication systems due to serious security concerns, India has not only allowed it to take part in trials but also complimented it for developing the telecom sector in India, reported timesofindia.com Dec 18. Huawei was, however, not among the original invitees. It took a protest from Huawei to make New Delhi relent, the report said.

China’s official globaltimes.cn Dec 18 criticized India’s telecom industry for wrestling with the idea of excluding Chinese suppliers such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp from government network procurement, saying it reflected New Delhi’s contradictory mentality in dealing with China.

India is worried about the rise of China due to historical factors, which is the unhealthy mindset of a weaker state, the report cited Tian Guangqiang, assistant research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying.

The report pointed out that while an Indian telecom export body was opposed to Huawei’s entry, it cited a separate industry association – the Cellular Operator Association of India (COAI) – as defending the Chinese suppliers, claiming that it acknowledged and appreciated the presence of Huawei in the forefront of 5G innovation.

Huawei is already banned in the USA, Australia and New Zealand for the 5G mobile network while Japan has also effectively banned it. Great Britain has been urged repeatedly by its allies to do likewise.

When New Delhi initially sent out invites to global 5G majors, Chinese firms such as Huawei or ZTE were not invited. It took a protest by Huawei, which has established a big centre in India, for the government to relent. ZTE, though, didn’t receive any invitation, said the timesofindia.com report.

The other invitees – Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung – all had started making presentations to the government, the report added.

The big concern about Huawei is its close connections to the Chinese military complex. Given that China is India’s biggest strategic challenge, the government’s decision to allow Huawei to take pole position in India’s 5G ecosystems may have geopolitical implications as well, the report said.

After India allowed Huawei to participate in its 5G trials, globaltimes.cn sang a different tune, saying in another Dec 18 report that Prime Minister Narendra Modi administration’s invitation will help increase strategic mutual trust between China and India. As the two countries enhance their strategic mutual trust, India will likely receive more foreign investment from China, the report said. It called the invitation to Huawei a form of economic cooperation, rather than a political deal.

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