Foreign Affairs Barometer


Dutch attitudes towards Chinese technology

19 Dec 2020 - 15:59
Bron: Shutterstock
Telephones yes, networks no

Since 2019 a debate has been under way – particularly in Western industrialised countries – about the rollout of 5G telecommunication networks and whether Chinese technology should be used in them. China’s rapid rise, the awareness of ‘systemic rivalry’ and sustained pressure from the United States have also fuelled a debate in the Netherlands on whether to allow Chinese technology at the heart of our 5G networks.

The concerns revolve particularly around strategic dependence and national security. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), for example, warns that the Netherlands must not become excessively dependent on Chinese equipment in vital parts of the 5G network. Politicians in the Netherlands and abroad are already weighing into this debate, but very little is yet known about Dutch people’s views of the use of Chinese communication technology. 

Do American calls on allies to ban Chinese firms such as Huawei and warnings from the Dutch intelligence services resonate among the Dutch population? Do Dutch people view decisions on Chinese technology differently when they concern critical telecom infrastructure than when they concern their own mobile phone? And to what extent are attitudes towards Chinese technology influenced by the image people have of China? Or are there other key factors that explain Dutch people’s attitudes towards imports of Chinese technology?

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About the Foreign Affairs Barometer

What is the Dutch population’s view of developments abroad and in Europe? And what do Dutch people think of and expect from our foreign policy? The public debate and policy benefit from quantitative data on this. That is why Clingendael, together with the research institute Kieskompas, developed the 'Foreign Affairs Barometer'. In this opinion research, we regularly poll as many as 23,000 Dutch citizens to find out how they view international developments and the Netherlands’ foreign policy. On this page you will find the results grouped by theme.