The US urges Germany to reject Huawei's bid for its 5G network

Saul Bowman
March 13, 2019

'This could in the future jeopardize nimble cooperation and some sharing of information, ' the spokesman said.

The US Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, issued the warning in a letter dated Friday, the newspaper said.

In the letter, German officials are warned that the United States will stop sharing certain intelligence information with Germany's intelligence agencies if the nation allows Huawei Technologies equipment to be used as part of its 5G infrastructure.

Perhaps anticipating China's complaint that the Trump administration is cracking down on Chinese electronics to drive them off the market and create business opportunities for American firms, Grenell advised the Germans to hire Ericsson Communications of Sweden, Nokia of Finland, or Samsung of South Korea to build its 5G network.

Washington considers Chinese companies to be a potential threat, presuming that any equipment and software provided by them could potentially be used by Beijing to spy on other nations.

Among other things, European security agencies have relied heavily on USA intelligence in the fight against terrorism.

"A US embassy spokesman told NPR in a statement that he would not comment on the contents of the letter", NPR's Joanna Kakissis reports from Munich. Further, the US likely needs its allies to support the pushback against Huawei in order for the isolation tactic to have any meaningful effect. As CNBC reports, both the 2017 National Intelligence Law and the 2014 Counter-Espionage Law mandate that Chinese firms comply with state security efforts.

In Germany, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Thursday on a ZDF talk show that Germany did not want to ban Huawei but said that Berlin will change the law to ensure that all components used in the 5G networks will be secure.

A spokesman for Altmaier said a letter had been received from the embassy, and the ministry would respond in a timely manner.

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