The New Tech Cold War June 19, 2020

from Seriously…· ·

Gordon Corera asks if the West is losing the technological race with China. Why did the decision to let the Chinese company Huawei build the UK’s 5G telecoms network turn into one of the most difficult and consequential national security decisions of recent times? A decision which risks undermining the normally close special relationship between the US and UK? The answer is because it cuts to the heart of the greatest fear in Washington – that China is already ahead in the global competition to develop the most advanced technology. Some people ask how we have got to a position …



Gordon Corera asks if the West is losing the technological race with China. Why did the decision to let the Chinese company Huawei build the UK’s 5G telecoms network turn into one of the most difficult and consequential national security decisions of recent times? A decision which risks undermining the normally close special relationship between the US and UK? The answer is because it cuts to the heart of the greatest fear in Washington – that China is already ahead in the global competition to develop the most advanced technology. Some people ask how we have got to a position where the West needs to even consider using Chinese tech. The answer may be because they failed to think strategically about protecting or nurturing their own technology industry over the last two decades. A free-market system has faced off against a Chinese model in which there is a clear, long-term industrial strategy to dominate certain sectors of technology, including telecoms, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. This is a rare issue where the US national security community – the so-called ‘Deep State’ – is in close alignment with President Trump. Now the US and UK, among others, are scrambling to try to develop strategies to respond and to avoid dependence on China. But – asks BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera – is it already too late? Producer: Ben Crighton