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Huawei Trials – India Is Getting Drawn Into US-China Showdown

Sino-India relations are perpetually on a test. If it is not geo-politics, then it has got to be economics. Invariably, India seems to be getting drawn into a vortex of international intrigue, which pits it against China, vis-a-vis the United States.

While Indian diplomacy is battling odds with the American boycott of Iran, which obliquely puts China and India in the same boat as far as importing oil from Tehran is concerned, there is another testy subject playing out on Indian shores.

China’s telecom major Huawei, banned from the US as far as 5G is concerned for various reasons including espionage, was hoping for a vast multi-billion dollar market like India to pull its chestnuts out of the fire.

The company, regarded as close to the Chinese military, got the shock of its life when a senior Indian official opposed its participation in the ongoing 5G trials in this country. He cited security concerns about the Chinese telecom major.

The official was quoted in the media as saying that “India should go for 5G trials immediately for all, except for Chinese vendors.” While obviously, the foreign ministry has taken a more nuanced approach to the subject and security agencies have flagged general caution, there is a consensus about the need for safeguards when dealing with the Chinese company. That there is delicate diplomacy ahead is evident from the Chinese response, which has ‘warned’ those sowing discord in the Indo-Pacific region —read the US — to lay off.

A visiting Chinese delegation has also expressed the hope that on Huawei, India will act in its best interests ‘independently’. Clearly, Huawei — which is well supported by the powers that be in Beijing — will be badly affected if it is not allowed to participate in the lucrative Indian market. India’s options are becoming tighter. Looks like it is being caught between a rock and a hard place. ―DNA India

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