In a world marked by growing geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing, American allies will increasingly face a stark choice between the two. Continuing to rely on Chinese 5G manufacturers could cause a rift in the already fragile transatlantic relationship. A split into China and non-China 5G networks could cause minor interoperability issues , but more importantly, the U.S. push for a “China-free” 5G deployment could eventually generate two politically divided spheres of technological influence.
How Europe should best navigate these stormy waters must be at the core of the European strategic debate in 2019.
Erik Brattberg is the director of the Europe Program and a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Philippe Le Corre is a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and a non-resident senior fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Image: A man waves the Chinese national flag in front of the Parliament ahead of China's President Xi Jinping meeting with Portugal's Parliamentary President Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, in Lisbon, Portugal, December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes.