The ASEAN Smart Cities Network (ASCN) is now in its second year running. Yet smart city goals, such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), have been overshadowed by concerns of geopolitical tensions — mainly due to the technologies, such as 5G, and standards of governance involved — and could require finetuning in a post-pandemic world.
How have ASEAN’s smart city ambitions progressed, and how can these hubs be smartened up going forward? As a next-generation technology critical to the connectivity-based and data-driven 4IR, the view is that those holding an edge over 5G will be in prime position to achieve technological, economic, and military supremacy. The past year has thus seen bipartisan attempts from Washington to exclude Huawei and ZTE — and by extension, curtail Beijing’s rising influence — from 5G networks on various grounds. These range from warnings of potential espionage and cybersecurity threats to criticism that supporting the “sinification of 5G” is tantamount to democracy’s death.
Choosing sides, however, implies that there are credible options. Current sentiments suggest that the US is falling behind on offering an alternative. Beyond July 2019’s inaugural US-ASEAN Smart City Partnership meeting, Washington has engaged the region mainly in terms of cybersecurity capacity building such as through the Digital Cooperation and Connectivity Partnership.Source : https://www.eurasiareview.com/30042020-asean-smart-cities-balancing-5g-and-geopolitics-analysis/
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