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Huawei and Australia's 5G Network

By Danielle Cave, Elsa Kania , Tom Uren, Fergus Hanson, Peter Jennings, Michael Shoebridge, Dr Samantha Hoffman, Jessica Clarence and Greg Austin

Over the course of 2018, ASPI staff and writers for The Strategist participated in a dynamic public debate about the participation of Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei in Australia’s 5G network.

Australia’s 5G network is critical national infrastructure and this was one of the most important policy decisions the government had to make this year.

ASPI felt it was vital to stimulate and lead a frank and robust public discussion, in Australia and throughout the wider region, which analysed and debated the national security, cybersecurity and international implications of Huawei’s involvement in this infrastructure.

In this report, in chronological order, you’ll read a range of views written up in The Strategist, The Australian and The Financial Times.

These articles tackle a variety of issues surrounding the decision, including the cybersecurity dimension, the broader Australia–China relationship, other states’ experiences with Huawei, the Chinese Government’s approach to cyber espionage and intellectual property theft and, importantly, the Chinese party-state’s view of state security and intelligence work.

When it comes to important national security, cybersecurity and critical infrastructure decisions, ASPI will continue to stimulate Australian public discourse and fill gaps in global debates.

We also encourage the Australian Government to take a more forward-leaning approach to its participation in public discourse so that the public and key stakeholders are as informed as possible when hard and complicated policy decisions like this need to be made.