One can probably laugh at the reaction of the spokesperson for Chinese Embassy Counselor Wang Xiaojian in India who did not allow Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE to participate in its 5G trials. This funny reaction is an assemblage of a predictable set of words, taken from Beijing’s boring playbook, out of tune with the underlying reality, out of sync with growing perceptions, ignoring the global synchronization around “ No China in the world. critical infrastructure ”: “The Chinese side hopes that India can do more to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries, and provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory investment and business environment business entities from all countries, including China, to operate. and invest in India. “
The exclusion of Chinese companies from 5G trials in India, as well as future deployments, was a predicted future. To imagine that India will open its most sensitive area to intrusion from the Chinese Communist Party even as its People’s Liberation Army tries to seize Indian territory is a strategic pride on Beijing’s part. To consider India as its competitor is one thing; bludgeoning this idea into military action takes all discussion and negotiation beyond civilian talks. Here clubs and fists, tactics and maneuvers speak. The only solution is for China to come out. Demanding, or even expecting things to go as usual in these times, is like China saying: use Chinese companies, allow them to break into your countries, or else!
These threats have passed their expiration date. Xi Jinping wants to be feared by the rest of the world. It worked for a while. But now even that fear is diminishing in direct proportion to his delusions of greatness. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. put it in a tweet on May 3, 2021: “China, my friend, how politely can I say this? Let me see… O… GET OUT THE F ** K. What are you doing to our friendship? You. Not us. We are trying. You. You are like a naughty buffoon who forces your attention on a handsome guy who wants to be a friend; not to create a Chinese province… ”These pushbacks will increase. And with them, Beijing and the great supremacy of the Middle Empire will become a meme.
In its confused state of mind, which in turn is at war inside and wants to express it somewhere… anywhere… it seems that the CCP has lost its ability to think. In particular, he is unable to read India. It behaves like an aggrieved party, as if it were surprised by this political ripple effect of Beijing’s actions. For them, it is a diplomatic mischief. For the rest of the world, this is the right reaction. For those who follow China’s Indian policy closely, this is a work in progress, a step in the evolution of India’s critical infrastructure policy towards China.
Critical infrastructure includes sectors the destruction of which would have a negative impact on the security, economy or safety of a country. It requires the government to identify risks and vulnerabilities – natural (earthquakes or floods, for example) or man-made (Chinese intrusion, for example) – and prepare for them. It is against this background that the exclusion of Huawei and ZTE from 5G trials in India should be considered. In one line, excluding Chinese companies from Indian 5G is a policy that can be referred to informally as No China 3.0. So far, there are three sets of No China policy initiatives.
No China 1.0 took place on June 29, 2020, when India banned 59 Chinese apps.
No China 1.1 took place on July 28, 2020, when it banned 47 other Chinese apps.
No China 1.2 took place on September 2, 2020, when India banned 118 more apps.
No China 1.3 took place on November 24, 2020, when it banned 43 other apps.
No China 2.0 took place on June 2, 2020, when India banned Chinese companies from participating in highway projects.
No China 3.0 took place on May 4, 2021, excluding Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from 5G trials in India.
But this is not the end. There will be a Series 4, a Series 5, a Series 6… 7… 8… All will ensure No China in India’s critical infrastructure. These policy initiatives will be written in four parts. First, around critical physical infrastructure – that is, no China in the ports, power, rail and defense sectors in India. Second, around virtual critical infrastructure – No China in the IT, Internet and broadband industries in India. Third, around systemic critical infrastructure – No China in India’s banking and financial sectors. And fourth, around other areas of critical infrastructure – No China in India’s space and nuclear sectors; and emanating from the “Wuhan virus”, the most important today: no China in India’s public health.
Huawei’s exclusion is therefore a subset of a larger political flow. It is a work in progress, a continuum, with which India will protect its strategic sectors against the onslaught of the PCC-PLA combination which has repeatedly indicated that it does not want India as a friend but considers it. like an enemy, a threat, an idea that he fears and seeks to end.
India is not alone in designing these policies. Since China is in a state of war, first with itself on the inside and therefore on the outside, we must know the tools of the war of tomorrow. They will not be fought so much on land or at sea as in virtual spaces. Or, say, the virtual will drive the physical – the tail has grown bigger than the dog and is wagging. The impending cold war will be, as Samir Saran puts it, truly a war of code:
As nearly all social, economic, and strategic interactions shift to the virtual and digital realm, states will rush to “encode” their political values and technological standards into the algorithms and infrastructure that will govern our societies. It will certainly be a competitive process that will give rise to a persistent “war of codes”.
What makes Chinese companies breaking into India’s critical infrastructure dangerous are two outcomes. First, the intrusive nature of 5G technology. And second, China’s National Intelligence Law, Articles 7, 9, 12 and 14, which turns every Chinese company and every Chinese citizen into a spy. This makes consumers, businesses and governments in all countries that use Chinese equipment vulnerable to intrusion from CCP and PLA.
This is the reason why Australia banned Chinese companies from its critical infrastructure in August 2019, the UK banned Huawei in July 2020, the US in August 2020 and most countries in the EU. , notably Poland, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, Latvia and Greece last year. India excluding Huawei from its 5G trials is a step in the same direction. And while the decision is independent, the alignment is clearly with the West.
That said, while the rest of the world hasn’t banned Huawei or Chinese companies, India must. In the event of a collision with China, other countries are within a reasonable geographic distance to negotiate it. With India there is a border of 3,488 km. India cannot, must not, and will not allow Chinese intrusion into its critical infrastructure. There are too many stakes for India, and across India, for the rest of the world. So, expect more such exclusions or bans, as one critical sector after another is closing the doors of that party, the CCP, which is visibly and irreversibly turning China into a rogue nation.
This article first appeared on ORF.
Warning:Gautam Chikermane is vice-president of ORF. The opinions expressed are personal.
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