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6G Technology, America’s Opportunity to Recover its Leadership from China

tecnología 6g Estados Unidos

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The bet on the development of 6G technology opens the way to leadership for the United States, after having missed the opportunity that China took advantage of with 5G. Former President Donald Trump began developing what will be a wireless network 100 times larger than 5G.

Technology experts agree that China, with its technology star, Huawei, offers the best conditions in the 5G wireless network. However, the key to the U.S. is to turn to political unity to create the conditions for a transparent network.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has focused on measures to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and has put all his efforts into dominating the technological field, which in turn gives him diplomatic and economic power with a view to overtaking the United States and the free world.

The United States has balanced the scales in the development of 5G technology but is preparing to lead in 6G technology, as it has strategic allies and a strategy in diplomatic defense around information transparency, being competitive in the face of the authoritarianism of the CCP.

The United States and 5G development

The United States ceded ground to China on its own 5G wireless network development. Former President Donald Trump insisted on developing 6G technology as a way to respond to the loss of leadership in the field.

6G technology - United States - El American
Verizon workers installing a cellphone tower for a 5G network in Orem, Utah (Efe)

Sanctions on companies supplying Huawei have caused China to keep 5G offerings afloat.

With Clean Network, governments have a secure and competitive 5G alternative. At the time, the governments of the UK, Sweden, Australia and Japan supported Trump’s initiative to prevent Huawei’s surge as a 5G supplier.

The diplomatic battle involved the U.S. demonstrating to allies the danger Huawei poses to national security.

Clean Network is in place and is critical to 6G technology development. The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, an American telecommunications standards developer known as ATIS, launched the alliance in October with the goal of “advancing American leadership in 6G,” Bloomberg reported.

Members of the alliance include tech giants such as Apple Inc. , AT&T Inc. Qualcomm Inc., Google and Samsung Electronics Co.

Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Geopolitics

Kai Fu Lee, an expert in artificial intelligence (AI) said that “the development of artificial intelligence requires a lot of information for the system to evolve and China has a robust population, where the government can arbitrarily take samples and personal data”, since it does not have the institutional limits of free countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

Kai-Fu Lee - 6G Technology - El American
Kai-Fu Lee, expert in AI.(Efe)

The political tensions in Asia are evidence of the interplay between democracy and authoritarianism. While on the one hand the United States promotes democratic values and freedom among its allies, China strengthens itself with regimes that surrender to its economic, military and diplomatic strategies, as in the case of Burma and Pakistan.

While the leadership in technological development will be in the hands of the United States and China, countries such as Japan, Taiwan, North Korea, the United Kingdom or the European Union play a key role as local suppliers and developers.

Access to AI as is the case with the 5G network, will mark the political chessboard. American allies in addition to accessing new technologies must follow the rules of transparency and free information.

Those who join China, on the other hand, will be able to access low-cost technologies in exchange for a network under the control of the CCP, as is the case in the Asian giant, or applications in Venezuela, Cuba and Russia, according to experts.

America defends key allies

South Korea, Japan, India, Taiwan in Asia, as well as the United Kingdom and Israel, are timely allies for the United States. All are important players in the development of new technologies.

The implementation of the Paris Agreement hand in hand with new technologies requires a range of supplies such as chips, energy and others, which America’s strategic partners already provide.

For example, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will invest at least $200 million in a plant in Japan, following U.S. guidelines to build a transparent network.

Apple - 6G Technology - El American
Apple partners with TSMC to develop ultra-advanced displays and 5G technology devices. (TSMC factory in Taiwan)

TSMC produces chips for technology giants such as Apple, Google and Qualcomm. It accounts for one-third of the total stock market value and is a key player in the American development of 6G technology.

Asia is already at the geopolitical and economic center due to the “robust middle classes and the role played by the financial market” of some of the major Asian stock exchanges, experts say.

U.S. military moves to defend from possible attacks by regimes such as the CCP on American allies are due to the economic and technological importance they represent for the future.

Marine watches the USS Blue Ridge in the Indo-Pacific. (Efe)

The investments of multi-billion dollar companies such as Tesla, Apple and Microsoft in Asian countries also raises alerts about the alliances that private companies make with authoritarian governments, as in the case of Tesla in China.

The sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration on entrepreneurs in order to contain the CCP’s technological growth has put private companies in check. Companies supplying semiconductors and other inputs have had to move their factories to the United States or other regions other than China.

Camilo Bello is a consultant focused on Asia Pacific studies and has experience in strategic management. He has studied law in Colombia and is currently pursuing studies in language and history at National Taiwan Normal University. He has collaborated with Students for Freedom in Hong Kong and Taiwan // Camilo es consultor enfocado en estudios de Asia Pacífico y experiencia en gestión estratégica. Cuenta con estudios en Derecho en Colombia y actualmente se encuentra realizando estudios en lenguaje e historia en National Taiwan Normal University. Colaborador de Estudiantes por la Libertad en Hong Kong y Taiwán