U.S. Bill Seeks Funding For 5G Networks In Eastern
Europe To Counter Chinese Influence
May 20, 2021
Legislation has been reintroduced in the U.S. Congress
to increase funding for 5G telecommunications and
digital infrastructure development in Eastern European
The sponsors of the legislation said on May 19 it was
important to fund such projects in countries with
"infrastructure deficits" remaining from the Soviet era
that make them "especially vulnerable to malign Chinese
The Transatlantic Telecommunications Security Act would
authorize the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
to provide financing for 5G network development to U.S.
allies and partners in the region, its sponsors said.
The bill aims to ensure that the United States "is
leading with our European allies to develop
international 5G standards that favor democratic
institutions, not further authoritarianism spread by
China," Representatives Marcy Kaptur (Democrat-Ohio) and
Adam Kinzinger (Republican-Illinois) said.
"The United States and our allies are facing increasing
threats from state-linked companies in China as they
seek to infiltrate and undermine democratic
institutions," Kaptur said in a news release.
The new 5G networks will serve as the backbone of
transatlantic telecommunications infrastructure for
years to come, fostering greater development of advanced
technologies such as artificial intelligence.
"With those advances come immense national security and
economic implications," Kaptur said. "That is why it is
critical that these networks be kept safe from malign
said in the news release that the growing threat from
China "has made it increasingly important for the United
States and our allies to shore up our shared
U.S. assistance to Central and Eastern European
countries in building out their 5G networks "can further
help defend the freedom of speech, press, and religion
across the continent," Kinzinger said.
Some countries in Central and Southeastern Europe have
already banned Chinese tech giant Huawei as part of a
rollback of China's dominance in 5G telecommunications.
Romania last year implemented such a ban.
The decision came shortly after an announcement in
October that the U.S. State Department had signed deals
with Slovakia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, and Bulgaria on
high-speed wireless network technology.
The U.S. government has accused the Chinese company of
using its technology to spy on behalf of the Chinese
government. Huawei denies the allegations and argues
that U.S. protectionism is motivating its decisions.
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