Published: Mon, February 04, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Huawei 'distrust' and 'irrational' United States trade war slammed by leading Chinese academic

Huawei 'distrust' and 'irrational' United States trade war slammed by leading Chinese academic

A woman walks past a Huawei shop in Beijing, Jan. 29.

In a move certain to inflame the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, Justice Department officials announced criminal charges against Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei, several of its affiliates, and its chief financial officer for alleged theft of trade secrets from USA telecommunications providers, bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and other violations.

Huawei faces global scrutiny over its ties with the Chinese government and allegations that Beijing could use Huawei's technology for spying, which the company denies.

Former Victorian premier John Brumby has stepped down from the board of Huawei Australia, but says his exit is unrelated to USA criminal charges against the Chinese tech giant. The U.S.is reported to be investigating Huawei's use of a Hong Kong shell company to sell equipment to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. Federal officials continue to advocate action to impede or outright block the use of foreign-made equipment in critical telecommunications networks, particularly those forming the backbone of next-generation 5G wireless technologies.

Asked about security issues with Huawei's products, Sondland said: "There is a lot of evidence, most of it classified".

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"The timing of my retirement from the Board is completely unrelated to any recent commentary regarding China and Huawei", Brumby said. In today's globalised world, all major ICT companies have global supply chains. "Losing someone of the stature will hurt Huawei's efforts to prosecute its case and to be allowed to expand in the region", said Haydon Manning, professor of politics at Flinders University in South Australia.

While the USA governments' investigation into Huawei is ongoing, the indictments show the national security and trade risks inherent in working with foreign telecommunications interests.

"This includes Australia, the EU, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Spain, Denmark and most recently, NATO", read the statement.

Zeman, who has long promoted close cooperation with Beijing and has publicly backed Huawei, also plans to meet its chief executive when he visits China in April, Ovcacek said.

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