On March 18th, Partnership for a Secure America hosted the 10th event of our CPP Solutions Series, 5G Future: Network Slicing on Chinese Fiber. This off-the-record roundtable dinner following the Chatham House Rule focused on expansion of global 5G telecommunications infrastructure and related challenges. The conversation covered Chinese activity in the 5G domain, the risks of failing to compete in this space, and action items for a 21st century U.S. telecommunications strategy.

The 5G revolution is on track to be the next great disruptive event of the 21st Century. Companies closely tied to the Chinese government like Huawei have already staked their claim to this domain, claiming ownership of 9% of 5G related patents. The Chinese government is now poised to invest some $400 billion into expanding fiber optic network infrastructure across Asia and improving domestic broadband access. The U.S. government has acted to ban the use of Huawei technology by federal agencies and has pressured others to follow suit, but some  U.S. allies in Europe have expressed interest in lower-price Chinese network infrastructure. Chinese domination of global 5G infrastructure would hobble American technological innovation, lend Chinese businesses an unfair advantage, and guarantee insecurity in critical American telecommunications infrastructure. This issue has been targeted as a priority for the 116th Congress, but bipartisan action is needed today to maintain U.S. leadership through mid-century.