Tag: technology

COVID-19 and geopolitics over a global superpower

COVID-19 and geopolitics over a global superpower

COVID-19 and geopolitics: Amid the ongoing fight against COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitics over a global superpower is changing 

At a time when countries across the world is struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese economy is growing in a bid to help the country attain the status of a superpower over the United States. While the US and Eurozone economies are projected to face declining growth, China is among those countries projected to grow at 1.9 percent. With US’ influence gradually fading away, China is taking over a strategic superpower after transforming its economy and bolstering its political structure. 

Countries across the world are expressing concerns over China’s increased influence and participation in various regions and sectors such as information and communication. As per a recent survey by Nikkei, China’s cross-border data flow in 2019 outstripped that of 10 countries examined including the United States. As of now, China accounts for 23% of cross-border data flows, while the US ranks at second with 12%.

Over the last six years, China’s Belt and Road Initiative has expanded exponentially. As of April 2020, around 138 countries and 30 international institutions are a part of the initiative. As per the World Bank, China has the world’s largest economy and is the world’s largest exporter. It is one of the biggest infrastructural giants in the world. 

The United States is finding itself in the middle of changing global forces where it sees China as a peer competitor and Russia as its main key adversary. Both China and Russia are in direct contest in the international order to wield greater influence across the world. However, as Beijing’s influence and economic grows, Russia is also grappling with increased competition. Burdened by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia is likely to remain financially stable due to several reasons including its National Wealth Fund. However, the economic shock is likely to put millions into extreme poverty and hamper Moscow’s plan to improve people’s welfare. At the same time, China is overtaking Russia in terms of development and mobilisation of high technology. 

Taking note of these developments, Efforts are being made to rethink economic interactions with Beijing and reduce Chinese-dominated supply chains. European Union is accelerating efforts to cut Chinese takeovers and technology and pharmaceutical dependence on Beijing. A number of countries including Australia, Japan and India are investing in projects to support local manufacturing and reduce their reliance on global supply chains. 

With the changing equation of global superpower, the COVID-19 pandemic has started a new era of geopolitics.

5G network, and how it affects geopolitics of technology

5G network, and how it affects geopolitics of technology

Countries across the globe are carrying out efforts to install next-generation 5G Technology. Notably, it is going to be one of the most geopolitically crucial technology projects ever initiated in the world.

The roll-out of 5G networks is a revolutionary leap from all 2G, 3G and 4G networks since it has been programmed to overcome all limits and constraints of its predecessors with advanced features such as machine to machine communication, ultra-low latency and high-speed data services among others. 

However, this changing landscape of geo-technology and global communication has resulted in a geopolitical conflict between China and US-led Western countries. As per reports, Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE are ready for large-scale deployment of their 5G networks at affordable prices.

But many countries including the United States are seeing this development as a security threat, expressing concerns over China’s increasing technological and economic influence in the global telecom industry. Eventually, global confrontations over the installation of the 5G network have led to technology and trade confrontations between world countries, with China and the US leading the blocs. 

It is important to note that the 5G network is bound to bring a new digital revolution across the various spectrum, shaping the economic, technological and geopolitical aspects between leading tech superpowers in the world. According to experts, 5G networks also present several security concerns, with major implications on cybercrimes. 

In July 2020, the UK government told British companies to remove Huawei’s equipment from their networks by 2027, adding that the decision was taken due to geopolitical factors. On June 30, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation as “national security threats”. 

Australia had already banned Huawei long back with the establishment of the Telecommunications Sector Security Reforms (TSSR) in a bid to prevent national security threats and help network carriers to protect their networks. India and Canada are reviewing their security implications and are yet to decide on the supply of Huawei equipment in their countries. 

In the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic, the globe is facing unprecedented geopolitical contentions due to extensive technological transformation. On one hand, China is aiming to be the first country that designed the 5G technology, the US and other Western countries, on the other hand, are working on developing alternatives of the network and persuading their allies to ban Huawei technology.

This power dynamics over information and technology between leading superpowers is bound to shift agendas and disrupt multilateralism.

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