President Donald Trump has cautioned Germany and other European allies over the involvement of Chinese telecom company Huawei in developing their 5G networks.

The United States could end intelligence sharing with countries that allow the Chinese tech giant to penetrate its telecommunications infrastructure, media reports suggest.

The 5G wireless network, when fully rolled out, will run not only on personal mobile devices and self-driven cars but also control industrial robotics, power plants, traffic flow, and military infrastructure.

Huawei already controls 40 percent of the global 5G market.

President Trump “instructed me to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level,” Richard Grenell, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, tweeted on Sunday.

The warning comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to follow Britain’s footsteps and ask Huawei to build the next generation of wireless networks or 5G.  Germany will include China in upgrading its telecom infrastructure or “at least treat it on the same terms,” Merkel promised in a speech last month.

 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on his part, claims to be giving Huawei a “limited role” in the 5G development. The UK government hopes to “manage the risk” by keeping the Chinese company out of the “most sensitive elements of the network” and “restricting its involvement to 35 per cent on the periphery,” the London-based daily Independent reported on Monday.

Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post reported America’s efforts to curb Chinese infiltration of European telecom infrastructure:

President Donald Trump warned Germany that the United States will cut off intelligence sharing if Berlin does not ban Chinese telecoms company Huawei Technologies from its 5G infrastructure.

The warning, announced by the US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, heightened tensions in US-German relations over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambivalence to a company that Washington described as a “Trojan horse” for Chinese intelligence services.

On Thursday, the US justice department accused Huawei of intellectual property theft. Its executive director, Meng Wanzhou, is facing an extradition trial in Canada which could result in her being sent to the US to answer criminal charges that include illegal dealings with Iran.

Trump “just called me from [Air Force One] and instructed me to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardise our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level,” Grenell wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The warning, announced by the US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, heightened tensions in US-German relations over Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ambivalence to a company that Washington described as a “Trojan horse” for Chinese intelligence services.

On Thursday, the US justice department accused Huawei of intellectual property theft. Its executive director, Meng Wanzhou, is facing an extradition trial in Canada which could result in her being sent to the US to answer criminal charges that include illegal dealings with Iran.

Trump “just called me from [Air Force One] and instructed me to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardise our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level,” Grenell wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

Huawei, a southern China-based enterprise, sells mobile devices, cloud services, and telecommunications equipment. The company holds 30 percent of the world’s mobile technology market. There are serious questions about the ownership of China’s largest telecom company. The research compiled by The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper claims that Huawei is an “effectively state-owned” company.

Washington rightly believes that using Huawei would open its Western allies to Chinese espionage. According to U.S. officials, Huawei had a back door built into its technology, designed to be accessed by the company. The company can “access the networks it helped build that are being used by mobile phones around the world,” the tech magazine CNET reported citing official U.S. sources.

“We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” Robert O’Brien, National Security Adviser, disclosed earlier this month.

Beijing is involved in “a persistent, well-orchestrated, very top down, well-resourced effort to steal American and European intellectual property and the data of its citizens,” John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for U.S. National Security, said recently.

Ignoring these warnings, the policymakers in London and Berlin seem to be basing their decisions on vague Chinese assurances, like the one issued by the country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday. He promised Europeans that Huawei was completely “trustworthy” and would “not to do back door deals” with any rogue entity.

UK’s Boris Johnson to allow Hauwei into 5G development

[Cover image via YouTube]

 

 
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