President Trump has finally hit upon the real issue at the center of the US government’s battle with Huawei: It’s all about the technology. To wit, one reason why US allies and the UK and Germany have been so hesitant to cut ties with the Chinese telecoms giant is that, as its founder pointed out in a recent interview with Western media, there is no real alternative. US telecoms like Verizon still lag their Chinese rivals when it comes to 5G.
So, in a series of tweets sent Thursday morning, President Trump exclaimed that “I want 5G, and even 6G technology in the United States as soon as possible” and demanded that “American companies must step up their efforts.”
And in what sounded like a concession to Huawei (and a tacit acknowledgement of the real motives behind the US’s anti-Huawei campaign), Trump said he would like US companies to “win through competition”…implying that this isn’t the case presently.
Now, will Beijing appreciate this burst of honesty? Or, more importantly, will the outburst help inspire US allies like Australia and New Zealand – allies who are feeling the brunt of Beijing’s wrath over their decision to side with the US – to change their minds?