United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that countries that would create the next-generation mobile networks, such as those made by China’s Huawei – which the US considers to be threat to its national security, would no longer be provided by the United States with any sensitive security information.
This warning was issued by Pompeo after his meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas in Berlin. Germany and a number of other traditional partners of the US in Europe has been denying pressure from Washington to not allow the participation of the state-owned manufacturer from 5G mobile networks that are currently being built in various countries.
The United States would continue to issue warnings its traditional alliance partners of the risks of including companies like Huawei which would include the possibility that the US would be forced to prevent sharing of sensitive information, Pompeo said even though he also stated that the decision to use the manufacturers of their choice would be the sovereign decisions of the countries.
For its part, Huawei has filed a law suit against the US government in the efforts of the telecom equipment making giant to fight the sanctions imposed on it by the US government.
“(There is) a risk we will have to change our behaviour in light of the fact that we can’t permit data on private citizens or data on national security to go across networks in that we don’t have confidence (in),” Pompeo told a news conference.
Experts are expecting that the same issue would be brought up by Pompeo when he meets the German Chancellor Angela Merkel during his delayed visit to Berlin. Pompeo is on a five-day European tour which includes visits to Switzerland, the Netherlands and Britain.
Its conventional Ally was urged earlier this month by Pompeo about not using telecom equipment and technology from Huawei for te construction of its new 5G mobile networks because the US believes that Huawei’s equipment can be used for spying by Chinese agencies.
Apart from the telecom equipment issue, there are other issues of conflict between the US and its German allies which range from trade to military spending to nuclear non-proliferation.
The rising tensions over Iran had forced a postponement of Pompeo’s Europe visit which was scheduled for earlier this month. The Iran issue is another bone of contention between the US and Germany.
No proof has so far been issued by the United States to prove conclusively that security threat is posed by Huawei’s equipment, said a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman while reacting to similar comments on Huawei made by US Vice President Mike Pence in Canada.
“We hope that the United States can stop these mistaken actions which are not at all commensurate with their status and position as a big country,” said spokesman Geng Shuang.
Pompeo also urged Germany to follow Britain in proscribing Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah group and boost military spending. Pompeo also added that reports that claimed that North Korea had executed a senior North Korean official who was a part of North Korea’s non-proliferation talks with the US, was being verified by the US.
(Adapted from NDTV.com)