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Sweden is banning Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks

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Swedish regulators are banning the China-based tech companies Huawei and ZTE from constructing the infrastructure of Sweden’s 5G networks. The announcement follows previous bans this year against Huawei in the United States and the United Kingdom, fearing that the Chinese government-run companies will jeopardize their national securities if they construct their respective 5G high-speed networks.

The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS), announcing the news in a Tuesday press release, said that the four companies jockeying for licenses to build up 5G in the nordic country are prohibited from using equipment from Huawei and ZTE on national security grounds. According to the PTS, these updated conditions to receive a license was informed by assessments made by the Swedish Armed Forces and the Swedish Security Service.

“New installations and new implementation of central functions for the radio use in the frequency bands must not be carried out with products from the suppliers Huawei or ZTE,” the authority stated.

“The licence holder shall take necessary technical and organizational actions to safeguard that the radio use according to the licence does not cause harm to Sweden’s security,” the PTS added.

Understanding that some bidders for the license may already use products from both Chinese tech suppliers, the telecom authority added the caveat that license holders must phase out the reliance on such products.

“If existing infrastructure for central functions is to be used to provide services in the concerned frequency bands,” the press release said, “products from Huawei and ZTE must be phased out 1 January 2025 at the latest.”

Additionally, “if central functions are dependant of staff or functions placed in foreign countries,” the statement continued, “such dependencies must be phased out and, if necessary, be replaced by functions or staff placed in Sweden. This must be completed by 1 January 2025.”

According to the Associated Press, Huawei responded to the news, saying that it was “surprised and disappointed” by the change.

As for the rest of the European Union, a similar ban on Huawei appears less likely. Back in January, however, the European Union passed legislation that limits Huawei’s role on the continent and to make its 5G network more independent. The U.S. has been adamantly lobbying the E.U. to introduce a similar hard ban, but many E.U. member states have disagreed with how to tackle Huawei and 5G.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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