Has 5G become controversial?

Modernity is an unending process. The statement clicked my mind while I was ploughing an opinion about the induction of 5G in our communication system. Most will agree to the fact that 5G has become controversial. Now, let us find an answer to this dubious question.

The United States and its allies were the forefronts of telecommunication sectors in the past. South Korea, with its western partners, had invested a lot in the marketing of 4G technology, and the sale of respective components had earned them billions of dollars. These countries have been a beacon of technological advancements, especially in the telecommunication sector. However, things went sideways when China rendered its services to Europe by introducing a viable 5G communication network around the globe; that was to be spearheaded by Huawei. According to the plan, a network of thousands of boosters will be installed by the tech giant in various states, under the political umbrella of China.

Though the induction of 5G is a welcoming omen for many states, the West perceives it with a skeptical eye. Last year, President Trump signed an executive order, banning Huawei equipment; he blamed the Chinese enterprise of espionage. Furthermore, Huawei CFO was also arrested in Canada for alleged financial fraud, raising the eyebrows of many in the mainland. The most recent set back was the reversal of the UK from its approved deal of 5G in mid-January. It was a calculated move by Britain as Chinese could not do much about it.

The ultimate beneficiary in these circumstances is, of course, the US. The superpower aimed to tighten the rope around the eastern dragon, and the European lions have lent them a hand. However, much to their disappointment French President, Emmanuel Macron, has signed a 5G billion-dollar deal with China and hopefully will keep his words in the foreseeable future.

The apprehensions of the US are quite understandable. With the advancement of 5G, it is widely understood that the Chinese will get unprecedented support and recognition. Moreover, its influence around the globe will also increase multifold. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) coupled with 5G technology will strengthen the Chinese political and economic order. For this reason, it is needless to say that US insecurities are justified. In the words of Henry Kissinger, a new Thucydides Trap is in making; however, a peaceful shift of power must be ensured.

Will Chinese dominance ensue war? Or will new alliances be forged? Only time will tell. But the Western bloc must follow their liberal path and work coherently with their Asian counterpart, instead of acting like a bulwark against the tide of modernity. 5G can be a harbinger of growth, prosperity and development if leaders capitalize on a conducive and productive environment or it can be a portent of chaos if mutual interest and cooperation are held at the lowest rung of the government’s priority ladder.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are the writer’s own opinion. Dunya News will not be held responsible for any kind of discrepancy. 

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