Published: Tue, January 21, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Minister: Germany needs China's Huawei to build 5G network

Minister: Germany needs China's Huawei to build 5G network

The US president has warned that if a deal were to go ahead, it would risk the intelligence-sharing arrangement between the two countries.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spent much of winter and spring warning Western allies to avoid Huawei products.

The security problems with Huawei's equipment are so severe that the UK National Cybersecurity Centre concluded that mitigation was almost impossible.

Boris Johnson is likely to approve the use of Huawei technology in the UK's new 5G network against the pleas of the U.S. government, a former national security adviser has said.

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The former national security adviser told The Observer that "This has been gone into now by three different administrations, and I think the outcome is quite likely to be the same - that the intelligence agencies are expressing confidence that they can sufficiently mitigate any potential security threat to allow Huawei to continue to provide at least the non-core telecommunications equipment for 5G rollout". The government has developed a monitoring mechanism that it believes will work. From corporate boardrooms to foreign capitals, it argued that 5G was too important to surrender to a foreign opponent, and despite its protests of respectability, Huawei had a history of evading USA law and helping some of the worst regimes in the world. He added that Huawei's 5G technology was more advanced than that of rival suppliers, and that it was "relatively likely" that Prime Minister Johnson would approve Huawei's 5G network involvement.

Asked about the reports in an interview with BBC Breakfast, Mr Johnson said: "The British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology". Senior US officers passed over a written account of technical data that sources claim challenged British intelligence's own technical assessment that it'd be attainable to use Huawei within the 5G infrastructure while not risks to national security. And Victor Zhang, a Huawei executive, says that there is "no justification" for banning Huawei because of rumored cybersecurity threats. In addition, it has excluded Huawei from the bidding process for its future 5G network.

"After looking at the facts, we hope the government will agree - so our customers can keep 5G rollout in the United Kingdom on track and deliver on the Prime Minister's promise of gigabit connectivity for all", did he declare.

Yet when it comes to updating telecommunication networks to 5G, some countries are considering doing effectively that with Huawei, a Chinese state-directed company with a history of alleged intellectual property theft and enabling the spread of digital authoritarianism.

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