China's telecoms champion
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The Huawei 5G fight is at the centre of the US-China tech war. The Chinese company is one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment and services providers. A Huawei ban was implemented in the US in May 2019.
Australian business representatives are keen to explore ‘practical ways in which they can support bilateral business engagement’ with China amid strained relations between Beijing and Canberra that have lasted for over two years.
Despite her campaign rhetoric, Truss understands that the UK cannot just blindly follow US policy on China. With debt-laden Britain outside the EU and facing a recession, she can ill afford to dismiss the economic benefits of more pragmatic ties with Beijing.
Banking & Finance
The recently enacted National Security and Investment Act has given the British government the ability to block more deals on national security grounds, similar to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.
Ren Zhengfei’s memo to staff painting a gloomy picture of a world heading into recession garnered wide online interest. There is good reason; his call for cautious spending is much-needed in such uncertain times.
However hard the Biden administration tries to counter Chinese chip manufacturing, there is a key factor it fails to take into account: talent flow. The US can ban the sale of technology to China. But it cannot stem the flow of global, including US-trained, tech talent to China.
America pays high price as it tries to shut out Chinese companies, deny them access to advanced technologies and erode their supply-chain advantages.
With China’s rise as a geopolitical rival to the US, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, strategic competition has reasserted itself over economics. However, a scenario is possible with a better balance between the prerogatives of the nation state and the requirements of an open economy.
As many of the country’s tech founders hand over the reins, it’s worth remembering that once start-ups grow to a certain size they need professional managers to take over.
The two sides ironically see eye to eye as a new US Senate bill proposes banning defence contractors from buying Chinese-sourced rare earths. Meantime, Beijing has been mulling putting restrictions on rare earth supplies crucial to those same manufacturers.
The unexpected turn of events involving the Huawei executive and two Canadians calls for greater interaction between Beijing and Washington in the hope of creating a better understanding to resolve disputes.
Meng’s arrival in China has been recast as a moment of great power parity with the US. In the face of military encirclement, it makes sense for Beijing to show its people it has the fortitude to face down Washington in the diplomatic realm.
While there should be no illusions or unrealistic expectations, both sides should aim to address pressing issues of mutual concerns and not let competition veer into open conflict.
A close reading of a report on cyber capabilities and national power raises questions about whether China really has the offensive aspirations that keep the US intelligence community awake at night, rather than a defensive obsession built on a century of turmoil at the hands of foreign powers.