President Donald Trump has been warning for quite some time of the inherent national security dangers of allowing the communist Chinese regime to become the dominating force in the international market when it comes to the new 5G wireless networking technology.
There may soon be consequences for foreign companies that do business with America if they fail to heed that warning — at least once the administration fully implements new export regulations advocated by the president, the Washington Examiner reported.
Targeted regulation proposed
The proposed new rule appears at a glance to be narrowly targeted toward one Taiwanese company that utilizes American software and technologies and prohibits it from selling semiconductors and other advanced technological parts to China’s Huawei 5G company.
It isn’t hard to see how that could easily be applied more broadly to other foreign companies that do business with both America and China or how it could have a tremendously negative impact on China and Huawei by depriving them of the advanced technology necessary to continue building out its 5G network worldwide.
This regulatory move is just the latest effort by the Trump administration to try and halt the progress of China’s 5G aspirations, and it comes on the heels of a global pressure campaign led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to warn other nations against participating in Huawei’s network, particularly allies who could place American interests, intelligence, and national security at risk if they do so.
China threatens retaliation
Of course, China and Huawei are none too pleased with the news of this impending regulatory action aimed at choking off its supply lines of advanced technologies like semiconductors. According to Bloomberg News, Huawei’s current chairman, Eric Xu, went so far as to not-so-subtly warn that the U.S. could face economic retribution if it proceeds with the planned regulation.
“If the Pandora’s box were to be opened, we’ll probably see catastrophic damage to the global supply chain — and it won’t just be one company, Huawei, destroyed,” Xu told the media during a 2019 earnings report. “I don’t think the Chinese government will just watch and let Huawei be slaughtered on a chopping board. I believe the Chinese government will also take some countermeasures.”
Xu’s threat of retaliation, concerning though it may be, could actually be a sign of desperation and fear on the part of China and Huawei, given how dismal the 2019 earnings reports were for the company, evidence that the efforts launched by the Trump administration to contain Huawei are indeed having an impact.
Economic decoupling needed
In the broader scheme of things, especially in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that started in China and was initially covered up by the communist regime, this new regulation aimed at quarantining Huawei and China in terms of 5G is also part of a necessary economic decoupling of the U.S. from China with regard to international supply chains and the manufacturing of vital goods.
During a virtual event hosted on Tuesday by the Atlantic Council discussing the rivalries and competition between great powers, State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said, “If this COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t clarify for the world where everyone stands, what’s truly behind the curtain, I’m not sure what else could.”
She went on: “We will continue obviously to take a firm position as it relates to Huawei and any 5G that would be beholden to an authoritarian regime. And I think — maybe I’m overly optimistic — but I think this pandemic, an unintended consequence is that this pandemic is shedding a ton of light on our policies as it relates to Huawei, as it relates to 5G.”
It remains to be seen when exactly this regulation will be implemented and how it will be enforced, much less whether China responds as threatened, but this move nonetheless shows that President Trump is taking the risks posed by China quite seriously — and is willing to take action to address them.