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5G SERIES: 5G and New Technology Infrastructure between China and the EU

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

Current Strategies and Trends

This article is the 1st article of the series of 5G developed by the Technology and Media Working Group of the European Guanxi Editorial Team. Every month we dive into a different aspect of 5G with regards to the EU-China dynamics. You can read the rest of the articles here.

Cityscape © mohamed_hassan / Public domain / Pixabay

The recent necessities created by the Covid-19, such as social distancing and running businesses remotely, have highlighted the importance of adopting new technologies, such as 5G. Technological infrastructures need to be improved to mitigate the losses due to the emergence. With the enhancement of the infrastructure, the states could reduce the distances between each other. In this manner, recovery plans and other development programs should start to work concretely, at least in part.

China is aware of the value of infrastructures in general. The Chinese recovery of economic growth, with rates as high as the last four decades, will include a massive amount of money to spend on the building or reinforcing the “new infrastructures”. Giving some examples of this concept, 5G networks and data centres are at the core of the recovery project. Together with high-speed railway lines – to be built both in the country and abroad within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – 5G is on the top of the priority list to overcome the Covid-19 outbreak.

Given the importance of such technological infrastructure in today’s world, this article aims to define the potential roles of 5G in shaping the relationship between the European Union and China. To this purpose, we identify several strategies in the adoption and development of 5G developed by both parties, as we forecast the expected trends. In the first sections, we delineate the two approaches identifying their core priorities, while the concluding paragraphs build some reflections to be explored in future analyses.

The NATO and EU Perspectives

At the end of October 2019, defence ministers prepared the stage for a meeting of NATO leaders in London. During this meeting, ministers addressed various issues and one of them was the management of 5G. NATO allies – together with the European Union, Swede