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China threat overblown by EU Cybersecurity Act [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-3-13 16:45:26 |Display all floors

Editor's note: Bobby Naderi is a journalist, a current affairs commentator, a documentary filmmaker, and a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. The article reflects the author's opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

On Tuesday, March 12, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted the European Union (EU) Cybersecurity certification scheme for products, processes and services.The Cybersecurity Act is a scheme to ensure that certified products, processes and services sold in EU countries meet cybersecurity standards. MEPs also adopted a resolution calling for action at EU level on the alleged security threats linked to China's growing technological presence in the EU.

As well, MEPs expressed their “deep concern” about recent allegations by the United States - where nuance and unilateralism often prevail - that 5G equipment may have embedded “backdoors” that would allow Chinese manufacturers and authorities to have unauthorized access to private and personal data and telecommunications in the EU.

A woman visits the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium March 5, 2019. /VCG Photo.

Inflated threats

The so-called “deep concern” expressed by MEPs is unwarranted and the new Cybersecurity Act is equally, if not more, alarming for China-EU trade and growth. MEP's threat misperception only heightens mistrust as China has no intention to lace the EU infrastructure with logic bombs. The costs of cyber espionage pale beside the mutual benefits of a China-EU interdependent economy.

As such, the Chinese laws ask all IT enterprises to cooperate with the EU and other countries in safeguarding a very broad definition of global security and shared prosperity. In particular, reactions in the EU countries and the United States, ranging from adopting cybersecurity acts and security assessments to outright bans (as well as politically-motivated detention and trial of Chinese CFOs) are uncorroborated and counterproductive.

So, instead of providing little evidence on how Chinese firms pose cyber threats or abuse vulnerabilities when procuring 5G equipment, MEPs could simply ask their governments to diversify equipment from different vendors. They can introduce multi-phase procurement processes, and establish a strategy to reduce their complete dependence on Chinese cybersecurity technology - just in case.

In actuality, and on the principle of internet sovereignty, it makes no business sense for the second-biggest economy in the world to undermine the cosmopolitan promise of the multi-stakeholder system. China benefits too much - politically and economically - from the current system of multilateralism to pose any threat to the EU and its sovereignty. Ethics aside for a moment, it is counterproductive for Chinese growth.

Therefore, EU governments, consumers, and the industry need to value the truth and distinguish between fiction and non-fiction. The Asian giant is racing ahead with the world's biggest rollout of 5G technology for greater business, not friction, with the EU.

The next generation of wireless technology promises much faster speeds while using less power. Beijing is getting there first and the EU needs the Asian behemoth to kick-start the internet of things to connect millions of machines, appliances, and sensors at low cost.

Add in one more thing: In its 13th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government describes 5G as a “strategic emerging industry” and “new area of growth,” and in its Made in China 2025 plan, which outlines its goal of becoming a global manufacturing leader, it vows to “make breakthroughs in fifth-generation mobile communication.”

China is making this work by leading wireless technology development on a global scale. China is leading in telecommunications - unlike the U.S. and the EU which are playing catch-up and politics. In response, Chinese tech companies are becoming innovative global giants, developing and monetizing services that use them - not weaponizing them.

If in the U.S. and the EU, the process is far slower that's because more infrastructure will need to be built out. Instead, they adopt cybersecurity acts, and when Chinese vendors and carriers need to negotiate contracts in good faith to install these sites, they signal resistance and express increasing alarm about alleged technology-related security risks posed by Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei and ZTE.

Profitable interconnections

The Cybersecurity Act is just a piece in a larger ongoing geopolitical puzzle that Chinese companies will have to deal with in the EU.

VCG Photo.‍

Despite the challenging dilemma, the EU governments and companies are better off working with China's tech giants. The market is huge and far too ripe for global growth, especially when compared to more stagnant outlooks in Europe and the U.S.

While the new Cybersecurity Act is important, it will wrap around the EU's free market as it grips security. Far from isolating China's champions in this very dynamic area, such as Huawei, Lenovo, or Tencent, the Cybersecurity Act - if ratified by the EU Council - will handicap EU companies in the long term. This will never result in preserving profitable interconnections. The hope is that these companies will fight to alter the new law to mitigate negative implications.

There is strong evidence that China and the European Union have more to gain than lose through joint ventures and mutual trust in their intensive use of the internet of things, even as “deep concern” in cyberspace - political, espionage, and military - remains both frustrating and inevitable for all sides.

The folly is all too clear. Any legislative spiral of mistrust in the China-EU relationship will only undermine the mutual benefits of the information revolution. Fears about the paralysis of the EU's digital infrastructure or concern about China's meteoric rise is the worst of all worlds. This should never become an article of faith.

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Post time 2019-3-14 16:41:03 |Display all floors

All the while, it is clear that China is the negative force but without evidence of proof from EU!

Presume the rest of the world is blind and deaf!

They must bend according to the chores of EU and US!

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Post time 2019-3-15 09:43:43 |Display all floors
As a matter of fact, it is imperative for the EU to come up with laws against its single largest threat, namely, the US.
Believe it or not, it's true.

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Post time 2019-3-15 14:20:10 |Display all floors
ALL software or hardware, regardless of the country of origin, must be in compliance with current EU regulations, including GDPR which is designed to protect all users/customers in Europe.
This impacts the personal, public and corporate markets.
many of these regulations have been in force for at least a yearm or have been strengthened over the last year, so any company either currently in the market or wanting to enter must comply.
If they don't comply, then they will of course be prevented from entering the market.

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Post time 2019-3-16 11:41:20 |Display all floors
There is one thing that Huawei needs to factor in.

US will find ways to vilify Huawei, indirectly to hurt China as well. Hurting China is excellent for US because Russia will be one option less and East Asians will not have any options at all!

Its not inconceivable that the US will engineer the breach of security through use of Huawei  technologies via US cronies. Creating fear and disorder has always been the hallmark of US. US is good at nothing else. There are many willing US lapdogs and cronies who will volunteer to help especially some of those in South East Asia.

Huawei needs to withdraw its offensive a little as those strategies may not bring about a victory for Huawei. This doesn't mean surrendering to the US. Even if one is to lose make it look like its heinous discrimination by the US - as if US is the 1940 Imperial Japan. Withdrawal here means slow down the current path and re-strategize with new better options. If Huawei's attention focuses too much on just fighting the US alone, it will lose sight of its global platform. Further US is already leveraging on its allies while Huawei is without any at the moment.

There is global market and underneath there is the US market and the EU market. Separately there are the India market, West Asia market, East Asia market (but no such thing as North Asia or South Asia markets) African market and the Latin market. Huawei needs to design itself to be able to assimilate into different, different markets and then be able leverage on one or more markets' strength against another whenever the need arises. Huawei should not announce any withdrawal from the US market. It should in fact announce that it has the same plans for the US, EU and China markets. Huawei needs to extricate itself from Meng's case to make it look like a non-issue - make it look just another mediocre unimportant case in the US even if it is very important to Huawei. This doesn't mean Huawei doesn't support its staff, Huawei needs to support its staff at all cost but this doesn't mean messing up all the businesses at hand. Huawei needs to put up a smiling face here. Assure the world and Meng that Huawei will do all it can to defend an innocent Meng and at the same time says Huawei is ready to bring improved lifestyle to US, EU and China - its question of which government doesn't want its people to enjoy this benefits and that there isn't such thing as a security issue because Huawei wants to sell to all of China, US, EU and Russia so why would Huawei take sides? Huawei needs to create a 3 years strategy to covert followers from US and EU. To enter a market is to influence the consumers - how come Huawei doesn't know this?

At the same time build followers in India and its home base of East Asia.

Going alone will make Huawei an easy target. So spread your prowess into a few other entities controlled by others with Huawei having a significant minority stake. Ideally another 2-3 similar entities from China, another 2 based in Indochina from joint ventures between Chinese and Indochinese and one based in Central Asia between Chinese and Central Asians. Create a lifestyle cult with these societies without them losing their cultural identity and religion - but with a right degree of religious mindfulness - where the religion all renounces killing. In short enriching their traditional culture with advent of techno fashion.

China should employ more Germans, Russians, Indochinese and Central Asians and create a family environment out of them. To do this internally China needs to harmonize all its ethnics first.

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Post time 2019-3-16 12:49:52 |Display all floors
Huawei could consider a statement like this.

"US is free to take any legal action against anyone in this world so its nothing unique that warrants so much attention when US does so against Huawei. HSBC and UBS all have been subjected to US actions before. However we hope that the US administration doesn't put a hand to interfere with free market competition. We too believe in freedom of choice to a large extend which is why we have always endeavored to bring our best possible technologies to everyone's life at every corner in this world so that everyone has a choice. We strongly believe that our philosophy is that genuinely of freedom of choice. As our objective has always been to reach out to the 7 billion people on this sacred earth. To us everyone is the same so why do we need to spy? There are 60 million Iranians, it can't be that each and every Iranian is guilty as the US administration projects them to the world. The innocent Iranians shouldn't be punished into being deprived of modern technology. Such technology need not necessarily come from Huawei, it can be from Europe. We believe the US knows this better than us because we are not into global politics like how significant US is all over this world. We trust that the US will not stick its hands into the free market competition to give its "allies" unfair business advantage and we reiterate that we wish that we could bring our technologies to the 300 million Americans in the US the earliest possible. We look forward to seeing all you 300 million people as soon as we can!"

Huawei needs to mobilise the 300 million Americans with or without Meng's case.

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Post time 2019-3-18 11:06:06 |Display all floors
It is naive to suggest that European countries should fear USA more than China.

What Chinese do not seem to get, is that European countries and USA can never be same kind of threat to each other, as China or some other countries can.

It should be obvious why. Most western countries share same kind of political, social and economic systems, and competition (even aggressive) between them is no threat to their way of life. Spying has always occurred between them, but it has no major implications in modern times.

With China that is different. China represents a different system in almost all aspects, and expansion of that system is a threat to (again almost all) aspects of western system.

It's a different thing trying to affect who gets to run a White House, than getting to paint the house (for example) Red.

China may be still working of harmonizing its internal ethnic tensions, but west has done that for centuries on international level.

Some frictions in trade are business as usual in this system, while otherwise relationships across north Atlantic and within Europe are better than Beiing's relationship to some of the provinces it claims as its own.

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