China Telecom in US, barred due to “national security”

This article is available in Pilipino

The US Federal Communications Commission barred China Telecom operations in the country last October 26 over national security concerns. China Telecom is wholly-owned and -controlled by the Chinese government. It is the seventh largest telecommunications company in the world. The FCC gave its clients — mostly Chinese-Americans and Chinese businesses — 60 days to transfer their accounts.

The FCC said that the Chinese government has the authority to exploit, influence and control China Telecoms being a state company. It is highly likely that the company can be forced to comply with the Chinese government’s request to divulge information on its US clients “without sufficient legal procedures subject to independent judicial oversight.”

The FCC added that the Chinese government’s control and ownership of China Telecom “raise significant risks to national security and law enforcement” by providing opportunities to a foreign government to “access, store, disrupt and/or misroute US communications.”

According to Chinese laws, China Telecom as a state company is obligated to “support, assist and cooperation in state intelligence work,” and to “maintain the secrecy of all knowledge of state intelligence work.”

Barring China Telecom is only the latest of a series of US measures to clamp down on Chinese businesses and is part of the intensified trade war between the two imperialist giants. Prior to this, the US also banned business dealings with Huawei Company, another Chinese telecommunications company.

In the Philippines, China Telecom has partnered with Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics Corporation under the Dito Telecommunications. Uy is Rodrigo Duterte’s biggest crony and dummy.

the Duterte regime has not only given the China Telecom access to private telecommunications (like in the US), it gave the company access to the heart of its national security—the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ telecommunications infrastructure. Dennis Uy and his Udenna/Chelsea have no capital, experience or knowledge in running 5G telecommunications. The entire Dito project hinges on China Telecom.

It can be recalled that on September 2019, the AFP signed a memorandum of agreement with Dito for the company to put up facilities inside military camps. This year, it has already set up facilities in five military camps, all in the Mindanao.

In exchange for the space, China Telecom will pay “rent” to the AFP. But it will not be in monetary terms but in “services” to design and develop the AFP’s systems, products and services in telecommunications. The AFP will buy from China Telecom all materials, equipment and accessories for the said systems. Thus, the AFP will be paying for the equipment that can potentially be used to spy against it.

AB: China Telecom in US, barred due to “national security”