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November 20, 2020 Source:  Keith Krach

Clean Network Results

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Keith Krach Interview with Alicia Ortega on Noticias SIN, Channel 9, in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic signed an agreement with the United States to exclude telecommunications suppliers that represent a high risk in 5G technology.

Undersecretary Keith Krach answers questions in an exclusive interview.

Alicia Ortega: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the Clean Network as a project that protects essential telecommunications and technology infrastructure of the United States. The State Department website speaks directly of malign authoritarian actors like the Chinese Communist Party.

Under Secretary Krach: In Authoritarian regimes, the 5G system can be used as an extension of the surveillance state, really tools of the surveillance state. This is a big issue and if you look at, for example, the Chinese Communist Party, they have the National Intelligence Act that requires that any Chinese company, state owned or otherwise, to turn over any information, proprietary technology, intellectual property or data at the request of the party or the Chinese Communist Government and if you don’t then you have to suffer the consequences, which can be all kind of things.

Alicia Ortega: The Undersecretary highlights three benefits for Dominican Republic joining the project.

Under Secretary Krach: the 5G network will be safe and secure, that is number one. Second it paves the way for private sector investment into the Dominican Republic as well as from all these other nations that are on the network; that are 26 of the 27 nations in the European Union and 27 of the 30 NATO nations, powerhouses like Japan, India, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, New Zealand. The other thing is this is a huge paradigm shift. 5G will not only affect cell phones, it will affect power generations, manufacturing processes, it will affect sanitation systems, it will affect the internet of things. From this perspective it will affect the Dominican’s national security. The third thing is the great possibility of the Dominican being “La perla del caribe” for innovation as well as for high tech investment.

Alicia Ortega: The Clean Network initiative has also generated some controversy. Experts have said that the White House not only wants to remove untrustworthy Chinese applications but actually remove all Chinese apps. Bloomberg spoke of a digital iron curtain, alluding to the difficulties that this would possibly cause worldwide. Some see the project as part of a Cold War between China and the United States with countries, like the Dominican Republic caught in between.

Under Secretary Krach: If you look at it. It is really, free nations of the world versus authoritarianism. And if you look at China’s Great Firewall, I call it China’s great one way firewall, because all the data comes in for its own purposes and they crank it in their big AI machine and do all kinds of things with that.

Alicia Ortega: Before arriving in Dominican Republic you visited Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and Panama. From the U.S. perspective what do we have in common with the Dominican Republic or were they all countries courted by China.

Under Secretary Krach: It is the same pretty much everywhere in the world. China is also a great trading partner for the United States so I think we’ll all in that same boat. But at the end of the day it comes down to trust. Do you trust the Chinese Communist Party?

Alicia Ortega: Last week, the New York Times reported that the current Trump administration had exerted pressure over Dominican Republic and other countries in the Caribbean so they would not accept economic and political relations with the People’s Republic of China. Six days after a U.S. delegation visited the country that resulted in an agreement signing that will grant the country access to 2 billion dollars in investment financing in several areas, President Abinader stated that he would restrict Chinese investment in the country in strategic areas such as telecommunications; in an apparent change of opinion in just a few weeks. The statement came three weeks after the president had said he had no objection to the investment of Chinese company Huawei investing in 5G telecommunications infrastructure. Can you confirm that these pressures exist?

Under Secretary Krach: So if you look at this issue with regard to Chinese Communist Party. This is the most unified bipartisan issue in government of our time in the United States. I mean literally, when you look across the aisles, whether Democratic or Republican, this is a unified position, the media as well, the citizens as well.

What you have seen through history is regardless of administrations by our country. The U. S. and the Dominicans are friends, like minded. Here again it comes back to those values, you are a treasured partner and a great friend. You have always stood by our side. As I said to the government leaders that I met with, we strive to be your best partner, we strive to be your role model partner. We measure our success by the Dominicans success.