Trump’s assault on Huawei dangerous for New Zealand

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Donald Trump came to power to “Make America Great Again” by asserting US economic and technological dominance over all other countries, particularly the rising economic power, China.

This desire to remain top dog has inspired the US ban on Huawei ‘s involvement in the new 5G telecommunications network. Trump said: “We cannot allow any country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future. We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type and we just can’t let that happen.”

Sadly, New Zealand has followed US orders and also barred Huawei from 5G (at least for now) under the cover story that it is all about “national security”.

American officials have argued that China could use Huawei to spy people using the 5G network. Of course, China (like America) is involved in electronic spying. But Huawei has rightly explained that it would suicidal for the company to use 5G for this purpose. If such spying was discovered, Huawei would immediately lose contracts around the globe. Surely the Chinese government would also be aware of this risk.

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It’s true that China is not a democratic country and the government holds great sway over the populace, and companies have to comply with government edicts. But it is a bit rich for the US to hold this against Huawei when Donald Trump has just ordered Google and several other US tech companies to stop supplying Huawei with software and hardware. They all meekly complied.

Tech commentator Jeremy Horwitz has explained the damaging consequences for not only US tech companies supplying Huawei, but for the US itself: “Foreign rivals now can plausibly argue that the US targets individual companies to force political outcomes, which is effectively an economic form of hostage-taking. That alone will become a huge land mine for US diplomats going forward.”

Horowitz also said the latest ban may not be good for Google’s Android software system, which up till now has been used by Huawei and companies like Samsung. He said, “the trade ban could spur other technology companies to unite and reconsider their relationship with Android.”

The damage is now done, even if Trump backtracks. To reassure consumers worried that the US might pull the plug again, Huawei will likely have to switch to non-American software and components. Also hitting American software and hardware manufacturers will be a renewed desire among sensible manufacturers in Europe, India and elsewhere to favour non-American components in their products, if available, having seen how the US treated Huawei.

At stake is how we develop information technology in a way that helps people and communities. Do we encourage agreed standards and common platforms, like the open source version of Android, which many individuals and companies (including Huawei) have helped to develop. Or do we want dog eat dog competition, where nations see other nations as enemies and bar them from using the software and hardware that each produces. Huawei is advocating cooperation. Its vice-chair Ken Yu says “we need an integrated global ecosystem which can help us to promote faster technological innovation and stronger economic growth.”

Our government should take a stand against Trump’s assault on Huawei, which already affects thousands of New Zealanders with Huawei phones. It should also end the charade that the New Zealand 5G ban is about national security, rather than being the result of a dictate from America, delivered with a public threat from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to reduce cooperation with any Five Eyes partner that doesn’t fall in line.

With Trump’s latest effort to smash Huawei the stakes are now much higher for New Zealand. To stick by Trump on this means that New Zealand will have little comeback if China takes counter-measures against us.

Confounding this issue for New Zealanders is a natural suspicion of China, a one-party state which clamps down on dissent. I too wish the Chinese government showed greater respect for human rights. However, the cause of democracy in China is not advanced by Donald Trump’s economic war on that country.

14 COMMENTS

  1. In boxing we have the clinch where you pull some one in and smother them to give time to recover a bit of stamina. Well in America we have Trump saying to China give me proposals and clinching with China to recover a bit of stamina. If we are true leftists we would donate to build a statue to George Bush Jr. His policies was great for getting rid of America’s hegemonic powers. Now look at America under Trump, they can’t even control a shitty little place like Afghanistan, last year sending over 6000 bombs and they still hate America.

    So I think Kiwi diplomates and MPs and so on can sit back and let’s see where this change in American status and American power takes us. Keeping in mind that since the 1950’s America has gone from owning 50% of the Worlds GDP to about 20% and China is catching up to America every year. So let’s see how easy it is when America isn’t the only bully on the world stage.

    So now I hope I don’t give up any state secrets. We, New Zealand is in conflict with China. We don’t have to be this proud state that is in love with the idea that we are so far away nothing can hurt us. Both Chinese interests and American Interests are in New Zealand right here right now and they are whining and bitching over who has the biggest Lego set. With the capability sets of the New Zealand Defence force being underfunded and whittled down. This we can not handle.

    So there is a new topic that isn’t widely discussed that is the problem of Chinese colonialist development. So Chinese business men come with there own labour laws and stop unionisation of their own workforce and now we have this problem globally that is going under reported and that is of Chinese managers being arrested or killed or booted out of the country from all over Africa continent, Asian continent, the Middle East and the pacific plate. The problem is Chinese managers are not prepared to pay $18-$23 per hour so they will import cheap Chinese workers and pay them below minimum wage. This will cause the tensions. This, we in New Zealand can handle.

    • We must resist China forcing us to capitulate against them taking over our country by ‘stealth’.

      • Hang on a sec. I think we need to put this China threat thing into perspective. America has placed troops on permanent and rational bases across Russia’s entire western boarder and the Americans, not just Trump, the whole Washington swamp is keen for Europe to raise defence spending so America can focus on ring fencing China. So do I believe that America will engage in open warfare across the pacific against China some time in the next 15 years? You betcha I do. So I wouldn’t be so quick to judge Chinese reactions to American imperial manoeuvring quite so harshly.

  2. ,,, not sure I agree with your analysis there “Donald Trump came to power to “Make America Great Again” by asserting US economic and technological dominance over all other countries, particularly the rising economic power, China.”

    Trump came to power because Trump spoke against trade deals like NASDA, which had decimated jobs in USA and created lower wages and conditions of US jobs.

    In contrast Hillary seemed to signal that neoliberalism was wonderful, thought identity politics works aka vote for her because she is a women, and was all for free trade deals… even when backtracking on that one, was less believable.

    The US election was not really won, but lost by the democrats as they arrogantly failed to make an alliance with Bernie Sanders to unite the democrat voters and seemingly stabbed him in the back instead…

    Trump may be hated internationally and a crook but it looks like his policies have got up wages in the US in particular for blue collar low waged workers https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/07/03/us-wage-growth-in-june-was-2018s-strongest-so-far.aspx

    Pressure from Sanders and Trump (but for different reasons) also seem to have made Amazon radically increase it’s wages to double the minimum wage.

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2018/10/02/amazon-minimum-wage-increase-15-all-its-employees/1495473002/

    Tighter US work conditions including immigration clampdowns have meant that low paid workers are in demand and efficiency wages were required to boast productivity.

    This is not something you would ever see in NZ ..(why would you when the NZ government is happy to top up employers low wages with employee work subsidies and benefits and keep those wages lower in real terms, now even their travel will be subsidised so they can make it into work)

    The NZ version, and under a Labour government and with union representation…

    “A Glen Innes Pak’nSave owner, worth an estimated $65m, was paying one of the lowest rates as far as collective agreements go in Auckland supermarkets, FIRST Union’s Mandeep Bela said.

    The union is in the process of bargaining at Hastings Pak’nSave where workers recently resorted to strike action. At mediation, the owner offered a 0 per cent pay rise for the 2018 year, Bela said.

    Bela said inequality was a problem for New Zealand and “enough is enough”.

    “When we have supermarket owners banking some of the largest profits while paying staff some of the lowest wages in the country it just doesn’t make sense. How have we got to this?”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=12108780

    As for Huawei, it is a hard one. Huawei is required as part of it’s constitution put Chinese nationalism first not be independent. In contrast companies like Apple in the US are more independent and are able to fight US government if they believe they overstep the security boundaries aka https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FBI–Apple_encryption_dispute

  3. America is so pro capitalist that it wants to keep all those capitalist dollars to itself

    “Competition” my ass

  4. The USA uses basic mafia tactics. Either they make the money or nobody does and whatever it is just gets smashed up. Its not even like they want China to emulate the way they do business because there is always only room for one boss. So anything any other country does independently of the USA is in for paying protection and if they wont then be prepared to be smashed. Luckily for us the USA no longer holds all the power but it would be nice if NZ could show a bit more of an independent side. If you want 5G now it has to be Huawei cause no one else is yet capable.

      • The only legitimate reason why I would use 5G is if I was 30ks off shore. To get internet speeds comparable to 5G beyond the 30k cell tower range is about $8000 per month. I just don’t think the upside is worth it to service such a tinny clientele that it’s almost non-existent.

  5. It is folly to bring human rights into the discussion, The US has the worst record of any nation in history, at home and around the world.

  6. The problem the USA and their Five-Eyes serfs have with Huawei is quite simple, it’s not about mobile phones, it’s about mobile phone network technology, the only US manufacturer was Motorola, the US Deep State had infiltrated them (FISA Warrant, security letter, patriot act nonsense) and had access to all the mobile networks, but the greedy corporate crooks had dissected the company chopped it in pieces and sold the parts off to the highest bidder, to make a profit they destroyed Motorola.
    There was Nortel (Canada), they filed for bankruptcy 2009, the mobile network part sold to Ericsson. There was Alcatel-Lucent (France) their mobile network part sold to Nokia in 2016. Nokia acquired the Motorola mobile network part in 2010. In fact the mobile network tech part of Nokia was a joint venture between Nokia and Siemens (Germany) but Nokia acquired 100% of the shares in 2013, Siemens is also out of the picture.

    Now the remaining competition is Nokia (Finland), Ericsson (Sweden), Huawei (China) and Samsung (South Korea) no US, no Five-Eyes, no way to infiltrate them.

    One of the leading corporations behind 5G technology development is Huawei followed by Samsung. 5G has the potential to replace wired internet connections and the USA and their Five-Eyes loses the stranglehold of the Internet + mobile networks to spy on the world, to accuse Huawei and China of doing exact what they do 24/7 called in psychology ‘Projection’ and is typical for socio- and psychopaths. Interesting fact Finland + Sweden not part of NATO it makes the Five-Eyes dilemma imminent and shows all the US accusations are flat out lies.

  7. The yanks can’t beat the Chinese fair and square so they play the “national security” card

    Convenient eh?

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