China Mobile, the world's largest mobile service provider by subscribers, expects to secure a license for commercial 5G services later this year. The company is closely watching developments related to U.S. restrictions on telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies, which is expected to play a crucial role in the rollout of 5G, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
This episode of the ChinaPower's podcast investigates the evolving political and economic circumstances surrounding Chinese telecommunications company Huawei and its attempts to integrate its technology in global markets.
Even as Huawei faces resistance in Western airwaves, it is racing ahead under the world’s seas in a commercial contest that could eventually provide China with strategic advantages.
Last month, the Thai junta issued an order granting loan extensions of 60 million baht to three major telecom operators to stimulate 5G rollout. However, the loan extensions may not be enough to prod the companies into action, as 5G development could wind up costing as much as 100 billion baht, reports Nikkei.
The signing of an MoU during a March 22-24 by Chinese president Xi Jinping has made Italy the first G7 nation to join China's sprawling Belt and Road Initiative, but Rome will be wise to devote sustained long-term resources to the negotiation, implementation, and follow-up of whatever comes out of these memoranda to avoid the mistakes of other BRI partners.
Browse our analysis section for news and articles on topics such as China's Belt and Road Initiative (OBOR), the Competing Visions of Japan, India, and other regional powers, and the stakes for U.S. policy.
China’s hostile economic practices, military expansion, and coercive political and ideological tactics in Africa should not be ignored. However, establishing a clear distinction between detrimental and essential BRI engagement is crucial to fostering development, building common ground with China, and expanding the global market.
China's Belt and Road (BRI) has taken a beating, but its central feature of big infrastructure projects will remain recognizable for years to come.
The United Kingdom's National Security Council has barred Huawei Technologies from supplying equipment for sensitive "core" components of its 5G network. However, Prime Minister Theresa May has accepted the National Cyber Security Center's conclusion that the risk from Huawei's participation can be mitigated, and thus will allow the company to contribute equipment to "non-core" parts of the network, reports Nikkei.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is projected to be built around the world than currently exists. As our infrastructure is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi pressed the Japanese government to reverse a ban on Huawei from competing for Japan's 5G procurement contracts. This development comes as the Chinese government steps in to defend Huawei against a campaign by the United States pushing allies to exclude the company's equipment from their 5G networks out of national security concerns, reports Nikkei.
Germany’s telecoms regulator has given the clearest signal yet that equipment maker Huawei will not be excluded from the country’s 5G network roll-out, despite fierce pressure from the US to shut out the controversial Chinese supplier for security reasons, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Major Japanese companies across industrial sectors are signing partnerships with Japanese telecommunication firms to develop products and services that make use of the super-charged national 5G network, set to open in 2020. The Japanese government is encouraging these partnerships, claiming that 5G will be the "basic infrastructure" of the 21st century, reports Nikkei.
China Communications Construction Co. executives on Wednesday reiterated the infrastructure company has not given up on the multibillion-dollar East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia, on which development work has been suspended for months amid doubts over the project's financial viability, reports Nikkei.
China’s Global Energy Interconnection (GEI) initiative is an ambitious vision for transforming the global energy system that pairs a pitch for climate leadership with Beijing's industrial policy priorities. As China makes a play for green leadership in global energy governance, the U.S. needs to present a positive agenda of its own for the clean-energy transition.
Huawei has mounted a full-court press to allay India's security concerns about adopting the Chinese telecommunication company's 5G equipment. Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan's enthusiastic integration of Huawei's low-cost equipment into their mobile networks has been heralded by the company as examples of why New Dehli's concerns are overblown, reports Nikkei.
A bitter battle has broken out between U.S. and South Korean telecom companies as each side claims to have launched the world's first commercial 5G network. Verizon accused South Korea's big three carriers (SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus) of a "PR stunt" after they pulled forward a launch planned for Friday, in a bid to claim the title, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
China and the U.S. are better prepared for the 5G mobile era than any other country, even though South Korea is about to become the first to launch the super fast communications services this week, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand's government will invest $2.78 billion in Laem Chabang port, the core of Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor. The Thai government hopes to position the deep-water port to compete with Singapore and Hong Kong, reports Nikkei.
The European Union's recently adjusted China policy describes Beijing as a "systemic competitor." Yet from Greece to Italy, China's Belt & Road infrastructure investments, and the political influence these afford China, undermine efforts to build a European consensus on China, reports Nikkei.
China Communications Construction has signed an agreement to operate the northern Italian port of Trieste. Combined with Piraeus in Greece, Sines in Portugal and Valencia in Spain it could form a new Chinese-controlled logistics network capable of redesigning Europe's industrial chains, reports Nikkei.
Pakistan has diverted around $171.6 million meant for joint infrastructure development projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a flagship effort under China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), into other construction plans. This signals that Islamabad may be distancing itself from Beijing and the BRI, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand and Vietnam have announced plans to start 5G services as early as 2020. The Southeast Asian nations are scrambling to introduce 5G networks, determined not to fall behind developed nations, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters Germany will "consult with the U.S." about the risks of allowing Huawei to help build the country's 5G network. The announcement comes as Washington threatens to halt intelligence sharing with allies who refuse to ban the Chinese telecommunications firm from 5G equipment contracts, reports Nikkei.
To effectively leverage the infrastructure financing opportunities provided by the Belt & Road Initiative, countries must examine their own development strategies and build domestic skills and institutions, argues Ganeshan Wignaraja for the Nikkei Asian Review.
The U.S.’ new infrastructure strategies must not only respond to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, but also consider the complex landscape of overlapping initiatives already on offer in the Indo-Pacific.
5G services are expected to become widely available in India sometime in the early 2020s, with Deloitte estimating total investment required at $70 billion.
China convenes its top political advisory bodies, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the National People's Congress this, this week. Analysts expect the meetings will address rising political backlash against China's Belt and Road initiative, reports Nikkei.
A Huawei Technologies senior executive insisted that "no evidence" supports U.S. claims that his company's products pose a security risk, and he urged telecommunications businesses across the globe to choose the Chinese provider for their 5G networks.
Intel has ended a partnership to share its latest 5G modem chips with China's state-backed mobile chipmaker, Unisoc, amid concerns that the technology transfer could cause problems in Washington, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Nepal will use Chinese gauge for a planned nationwide rail network in a move that is expected to intertwine the Himalayan country more deeply with China both economically and strategically. India has opposed the use of China's standard gauge as it tries to build its own influence in Nepal, Nikkei reports.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged allies Saturday at the annual Munich Security Conference to be vigilant and avoid deals with Huawei Technologies. Pence emphasized the risks linked to equipment made by Huawei and other Chinese telecom manufacturers, saying those companies must be shunned due to national security concerns, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Huawei's Vietnam chief says the company has received assurances from the country's communications minister that Vietnam remains "open" to Huawei's 5G technology. This comes on the heels of European countries announcing they will reconsider telecommunications partnerships with Huawei due to information security concerns.
China's $2.5 billion offer to bailout Pakistan as its foreign exchange reserves dry up disappointed Islamabad, which reportedly sought $6 billion from Beijing. Pakistan's balance of payments crisis could threaten the $62 billion Beijing has invested in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, reports Nikkei.
David Malpass, U.S. President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the World Bank, told media sources on Wednesday that he hopes to cut the multilateral lender's loans to China, which he believes is too wealthy to receive large loans from the World Bank. Malpass also criticized China's Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, saying that the BRI "leaves countries with heavy burdens of debt," reports Nikkei.
The trial of Najib Razak, Malaysia's former prime minister, over corruption-related charges tied to the 1MDB development fund is scheduled to begin on February 12. The prosecution is expected to probe whether China-backed infrastructure projects signed by Najib's government were used to bail out 1MDB, reports Nikkei.
One of China's Belt and Road Initiative's biggest environmental impacts may be on the world’s water. Should BRI projects strain the world's water resources, the initiative may carry important, and perhaps negative, implications for global and local conflicts over shared water resources.
Saudi Arabia plans to build Pakistan's largest oil refinery near Gwadar port, the flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The oil refinery, part of Saudi Arabia's new commitment to invest $15 billion in Pakistan over the next three years, could fuel competition with Beijing for economic leverage given China's significant investment there under CPEC, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history of how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. It shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and how these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years.
The world's longest sea-crossing bridge, connecting mainland China and Macau with Hong Kong, is set to open on Wednesday, giving Chinese President Xi Jinping a centerpiece for his vision of a "Greater Bay Area" economic zone, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Japan drafted a plan to offer greater assistance for infrastructure development overseas ahead of a key summit with China next week, as it prepares to pursue joint projects with Beijing in third countries, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
As demand for network bandwidth grows among Belt and Road countries, China will exert its technological dominance and set global standards through centrally-coordinated fiber-optic roll-outs, the establishment of data centers, and the deployment of communications, positioning, and observation satellites.
China and Japan agreed Thursday to encourage deeper economic cooperation in the private sector and to launch a public-private committee to advance joint infrastructure development in the region as part of Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.
The sheer scale and complexity of many infrastructure projects guarantee that disputes will arise. That’s why China is not only pushing projects overseas under its Belt and Road Initiative but increasingly, it is also writing new rules that advance its interests. The implications for the rules-based order—and U.S. interests—could be profound.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that his government may scrap or renegotiate some infrastructure projects committed to by Najib's administration. The possible move stems from his goal to cut down debt and reduce Malaysia's fiscal burden.
In a meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japan and China have agreed to set up a forum to bolster joint exports in infrastructure.
China is offering $1.7 million to a six-country group along the Mekong River to boost regional trade and ease concerns related to Beijing's massive hydroelectric dam projects along the waterway.
China’s $1 trillion push to build infrastructure across Asia evokes romantic comparisons to the ancient Silk Road, but there is a more recent chapter of history that urges caution. More than a century and a half ago, the United States was a rising power racing westward, building transcontinental railways that delivered limited benefits and exacted a high cost from society. Today, China has taken on that role.
China has embarked on the most ambitious infrastructure project in modern world history. It’s called the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and it’s how China plans to become the world’s next superpower.
Nepal's new prime minister Sharma Oli aims to leverage Nepal's central position in the power tussle between China and India to garner as much infrastructure investments from both.