Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s new film “Claws of the Red Dragon” will be screened at 9 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 5, on China in Focus, a Youtube channel from NTD that provides compelling, first-hand news from China.
Released by New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD) and starring Dorren Lee, Taras Lavren, and Eric Peterson, the 54-minute film seeks to shed light on the connection between Huawei Technologies—the world’s largest maker of telecommunications gear—and China’s ruling Communist Party.
Bannon said the film is for helping average citizens to understand how the Chinese regime uses Huawei and the Belt and Road Initiative to expand its power through dominating the infrastructure of other countries.
“This is not going to be a Cold War. This is going to be much more… you have information war, you have economic war, you have connected war,” Bannon said after a private screening of the film in Manhattan on Oct. 17, 2019. He said Huawei is a key player in China’s plan.
The film comes as the United States imposed bans in May on Huawei’s access to U.S. technology and accused the company of installing “back doors” in its equipment to enable China to spy on the country.
Clara Del Villar, a former vice president at the telecom company Nortel Networks and an audience member at the screening, said she expects the next large confrontation in the world to take place in the cyber realm, and that’s why Huawei needs to be monitored.
“I’m not normally a doomsday scenario type of person. But if you look out for decades to come, it’s likely that that will be the characteristic that lies ahead,” she told NTD.
After witnessing the growth of Huawei from primitive to dominant during her work in the telecoms industry, she said the concerns revealed by the film are real.
“Their ability to really become a master in telecoms technology would make them a very powerful player if there are any misdeeds in cyber warfare in the years to come,” she said.
“I think Steve [Bannon] is absolutely right,” Gerald Brant, who was also at the screening, told NTD. “You could certainly have the risk of a dystopia, in the Orwellian ‘1984’ sense of the term, when you have technologies like this 5G and artificial intelligence in the hands of a totalitarian government.”
Huawei’s equipment is used by 45 of the 50 biggest global phone carriers, according to an Associated Press report.
The United States has been warning its allies and companies not to use Huawei equipment. Last month, Italy approved measures to allow its government more power to oversee any 5G supply deals involving non-European vendors and influence deals.
“The U.S. government is doing the right things,” Brant said, “and actually, I think the Trump administration deserves a lot of credit in terms of the way they’re applying the pressure globally on Huawei.”