on air now

Security committee votes to exclude Chinese telecommunication giants from 5G network

Just before the drama of the Liberal leadership coup unfolded last week, Malcolm Turnbull’s national security committee voted to exclude two Chinese telecommunication giants from Australia’s soon-to-be-rolled out 5G network.

Declared a betraying “stab in the back” by the Chinese Government,  Huawei and ZTE should be left out of the 5G intelligence hub due to security concerns, according to the committee. If granted access, the fear is that our sensitive intelligence information could become vulnerable up against a Beijing who might exploit it for personal, security-orientated gains.

This comes amid a backdrop of increasing influence and interference from Beijing, as China continues its debt trap diplomacy to encroach and build a foothold in the Pacific.

“Think of 5G as being Australia’s data central nervous system, connecting business and families to the internet in much deeper ways then the current 4G system,” explains Michael Shoebridge from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“So the concern is about the nature of the Chinese state and a particular national intelligence law. This requires all Chinese companies to comply with Chinese intelligence agencies’ commands. 5G networks provide a compelling opportunity for those agencies.”

“And the problem is, you get the entity to access Australia’s data with 5G, but  you get the intent to do it with China’s intelligence law.”

Michael McLaren agrees our caution here is warranted.

“If we’re being honest, China is no benevolent superpower. She  is a superpower for sure, but often one that is flouting international rules rather than upholding them, challenging the international order more so then joining it.”

“Let’s hope the Morrison Government will be bold enough to deliver more of this down the track.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview