Amid the intensifying pressure of the United States to its European allies to boycott Huawei, global technology software and hardware development leader, the Chinese foreign minister has lashed out on Monday at the “abnormal, immoral” attacks on Huawei that the telecom company poses a security risk to the West.
Wang Yi, China’s foreign minister, demands from the countries in the EU as he met with their foreign ministers and officials for talks in Brussels, to give “fair and just competition environment” for Chinese firms.
This demand follows the intensified lobbying and pressure from Trump’s administration on US allies, especially in the Europe region, to prevent Huawei’s attempt to infiltrate their 5G telecom network projects. The
“China hopes all countries will create a fair and just competition environment for companies of all countries,” Wang told reporters.
“What we oppose is groundless accusations out of political purposes and attempts to bring down a foreign company. We think such practices are abnormal, immoral and have no support from other countries.”
The United States has been vocal regarding it’s warning against the company and accused it of being a Trojan horse for the Chinese authoritarian government, and the potential of it to be used for espionage and controlling sensitive communication lines.
Trump’s administration has launched a global campaign warning other governments and urging them to ban Huawei’s technology; especially that it has recently unveiled its 5G tech, which experts expect that they would lead.
Huawei has strenuously denied these allegations and has even launched a global reputation campaign where the usually-private CEO has been on a series of talks and interviews lately, and the company has opened its gates to journalists. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang insisted on Friday that China would ‘never’ ask its firms to spy on other nations.
However, contrary to the statements of Beijing’s Li, a recent law was enacted in China obliging Chinese companies and firms to aid the government on national security. The enactment of the current legislation has added to the West’s concerns that Huawei could be used by the Chinese government to spy on other countries.
While many European allies have followed the lead of US in barring Huawei from entering their 5G programs, Wang urged Europe not to be swayed by US pressure.
“We hope and we believe European countries and other countries will have independence in making their own choice and their own judgment,” he said.
But it was reported that a lot of American allies in the US are skeptical of the accusations that the Trump administration is throwing at Huawei.
In a bilateral meeting with the US government last week, European countries took a ‘skeptical’ stance against the assertion from the US that the security threats cannot be managed, according to participants of the said meeting.
While most European countries agree that Huawei could be used by the Chinese government and enable espionage, they mostly disagree on the contention that their technologies could not contain the risk.
“They understand there’s a security concern,” said Robert Strayer, assistant secretary of state for cyber policy, who took part in the meetings. “The issue is how you solve it. Our position is there’s no way to manage it effectively. In a 5G network that relies on millions of lines of code, it only takes one line of code to compromise the network.”
The disconnect between the United States and its European partners poses a chilling challenge to the first world country’s bid to take leadership on the build-out of the state-of-the-art, next-generation 5G networks that could be used to power self-driving cars, smart cities, and other new technologies that would require a fast internet connection.
With this growing skepticism in the European bloc, the US have threatened Germany and other countries that Washington will deny those who have Huawei’s 5G technology access to US intelligence. In a letter dated March 8th, the US Ambassador to Germany, Grenell, said that allowing Huawei to operate and provide services for the country’s 5G project would mean that the United States would not be able to share sensitive information including security intelligence to Germany due to the risks that the company poses.
According to the letter sent by Grenell, secure communications are essential for defense and intelligence cooperation including within the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization, and that companies such as Huawei and state-controlled ZTE Corp. could compromise the confidentiality of these exchanges.
The US security agency underscored that the US would not deny all intelligence from Germany in case the latter would go in bed with Huawei. However, they stressed that the US would no longer trust Germany’s lines because ‘the Americans will assume that all information given to Germany will end up in China.’
“Because 5G networks are largely software-defined, updates pushed to the network by the manufacturer can radically change how they operate,” said Garrett Marquis, NSC spokesman. “The 5G networks our allies buy won’t be the networks that they eventually operate, as the software could be changed on a moment-to-moment basis by the manufacturer,” the letter reads. /apr