UK GIVES HUAWEI THE GREEN LIGHT...
Nearly a year after the British government said it would mull whether or not to allow Huawei to contribute to the nation's 5G mobile network, London has approved a restricted role for the Chinese company. Reassured by the British government's decision, Huawei said it will continue working with British customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. "The evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future," said Victor Zhang, vice-president of Huawei. The decision upset U.S. officials, who have been working for months to convince the British and other European allies to ban Huawei from their telecom networks based on concerns that the firm could steal secrets. (Xinhua, January 28, 2020)
...WHILE FRANCE CHOOSES NOKIA AND ERICSSON FOR 5G
Orange, France's biggest telecom company, has chosen Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson to deploy its 5G network. "It was the easiest solution," said a source close to Orange, adding that it followed experiments with Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei products. The company, which the French government considers a strategic asset, uses Nokia and Ericsson for its existing mobile network. This week, the EU issued new guidelines allowing its 28-member states to decide what role Huawei will play in their 5G networks. "Telecoms operators mustn't select risky suppliers, which could allow a state, for example, to take control of strategic sites such as capital cities, areas of intense military activity or nuclear power plants," said the European Union industry chief Thierry Breton, adding that China's laws give the government access to personal data. (Reuters, January 31, 2020)
CHINA'S INTERFERENCE THREATENS NEW ZEALAND'S ROLE IN "FIVE EYES"
New Zealand is now "the soft underbelly" of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network, and many are questioning the country's long-term viability as a member because its politicians are unwilling to address China's political interference. Between 2008-2017, the New Zealand National party received at least $855,000 in donations from the CPC's United Front Work Department. National party MP Todd McClay personally received $99,000 from a China-based businessman, which was transferred via his New Zealand-registered company. McClay later said that "the existence and purpose of (Uighur) vocational training centers is a domestic matter for the Chinese government." New Zealand law Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the donation to McClay was "outside the spirit of the law," but her government's new legislation on foreign political donation leaves open the loophole allowing donations from foreign-owned companies registered in New Zealand. During a visit to China last year, opposition leader Simon Bridges unwittingly met with Guo Shengkun, head of China's secret police, and regurgitated Beijing's talking points on state TV. That trip was organized by National MP, Jian Yang, who hid his 15 years serving in China's military intelligence. (Guardian, January 3, 2020)
DANISH PM RESPONDS TO CHINA OVER SATIRICAL FLAG DRAWING
China's Embassy in Denmark has demanded that the newspaper Jyllands-Posten apologize for a cartoon depicting each of the five yellow stars of the People's Republic of China's flag as a coronavirus. Denmark's Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, responded: "We have a very, very strong tradition in Denmark, not only for free speech, but also for satirical drawings, and that will continue in the future as well. It is a well-known Danish position, and we won't change that. I just want to say from Denmark and the Danish government's side, all we have to say is that we have freedom of expression in Denmark." Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeppe Kofod agreed: "We have freedom of speech and assembly in Denmark, and it is not for me to debate satirical drawings or comment on this. It is known that we have free speech, and that is also clear to the Chinese." (The Local, January 28, 2020)
STUDENT JAILED FOR MOCKING XI ON TWITTER WHILE IN THE U.S.
A 20-year-old graduate student from China, Luo Daiqing, has been jailed for six months for denigrating Chairman Xi Jinping on Twitter while studying at the University of Minnesota. After returning to China in July, Luo was detained and in November he was convicted for "provocation" because he "used his Twitter account to post more than 40 comments denigrating a national leader's image." The posts, which the court said "created a negative social impact," included images of Lawrence Limburger, a cartoon villain from the children's TV series Biker Mice from Mars, who is said to resemble Chairman Xi. Marie Royce, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, said: "There are credible reports of Chinese government officials pressuring Chinese students to monitor other students and report on one another." Senator Ben Sasse (R-NB) called for Luo's release and said "....goons charged with monitoring Chinese citizens while they're enjoying freedom here in the U.S. This is what ruthless and paranoid totalitarianism looks like." (Times of London, January 24, 2020)
China Reform Monitor No. 1405
UK GIVES HUAWEI THE GREEN LIGHT...