18:26 GMT06 June 2020
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    Beijing doesn't conduct any cyber-attacks and the US should respect China, rather than pushing the idea of creating a nationalized 5G network to counter the "Chinese cyber threat," spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying said at a briefing on Monday.

    "Any form of cyber-attacks is forbidden in China and the Chinese authorities are tackling all forms of hacking. As we can see, the militarization of the Internet threatens international security. We think that all members of the international community should respect each other, strengthen cooperation and dialogue to mutually fight against cyber threats," the spokeswoman said.

    The reaction came immediately after Axios news outlet reported in the early hours of Monday citing documents it had obtained that security officials in the administration of US President Donald Trump are considering the possibility of creating a nationalized 5G mobile network within three years to guard the country against China’s threat.

    Chinese and US flags. (File)
    © AP Photo / Ted S. Warren
    A PowerPoint presentation and a memo, allegedly produced by a senior US National Security Council official, indicate two ways of putting these aspirations into practice. The first, and the more effective option, according to a source familiar with the documents drafting, cited by the outlet, requires the US government to pay for building a single network, which would practically constitute nationalization of historically private infrastructure.

    The second option envisages that wireless providers will build their own 5G networks that compete with one another.

    Such measures are needed to counter the technological dominance of China in the manufacture and operation of network infrastructure, the memo says. The document, designating Beijing as "the dominant malicious actor in the Information domain," argues that such actions would also contribute to protecting US economic and cyber security from China’s threats.

    READ MORE: Nip It in the Bud: US Opens New Front in Trade War With China

    Apart from countering China, the strong 5G network would allow secure development of new technologies such as self-driving cars and virtual reality, the document pointed out.

    A debate in the Trump administration on the ways of building and funding such network, as well as the reaction from the industry, may be expected in the coming six to eight months, the news outlet suggested.

    When unveiling the fresh US National Security Agency in December, Trump mentioned the deployment of a secure 5G Internet capability nationwide as one of its priorities.


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