By John Eggerton, Multichannel News, 1-5-21

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai drew a sharp distinction between how the previous Democratic administration treated China and the current one when it comes to communications equipment and networks.

That came in remarks at “A Conversation with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai” web event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Tuesday (Jan. 5), billed as something of a “victory lap” as the chairman winds down his tenure.

Pai said the government under President Obama welcomed the rise of a “stable, prosperous and peaceful” China, suggesting the U.S. and China could work together, while the FCC under then-chairman Tom Wheeler allowed federal subsidies to be used to purchase equipment from “virtually any company,” including Huawei and ZTE.

Pai suggested that was a “naïve” approach filled with “aspirational talk.”

By contrast, Pai said, the Trump administration and the FCC recognized the serious challenges China represented, and took the “hard” action to, among other things, rip and replace suspect tech from U.S. networks and exclude suspect companies from U.S. network connections. » Read More