German Interior Minister Breaks Spy Fears: We Need “Huawei”

Hülya Karahan: Production Editor

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In a case that caused tensions between the United States and its allies, the German Interior Minister said that his country could not build a fifth-generation mobile phone network without the intervention of the Chinese technology giant Huawei, at least for the time being.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily reported that Germany should be protected from espionage and sabotage, but believes that stopping Chinese service providers could delay construction of the new network for five to ten years.

Washington is pressing its allies to prevent Huawei, the world’s largest supplier of telecom equipment, from developing new 5G networks. Washington claims that this company constitutes a threat to espionage.

However, Germany decided to allow Huawei to compete for contracts to build 5G networks in the country, and instead agreed that companies must meet stringent standards, which could still end with the exception of the Chinese company.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Germany’s chief security official, was quoted as saying on Saturday that he “opposes taking a product out of the market just because there is a possibility that something will happen.”

Seehofer told the newspaper, “I do not think that we can establish the fifth generation network in Germany in the short term without the participation of Huawei.”

5G in Germany: the ruling coalition intends to stop Huawei

The Business News reported on Thursday (December 12.2019) that a joint draft of the two major parties requires the federal government to exclude manufacturers that are “at risk from government interference, manipulation or espionage outside the control of the rule of law.” This initiative should apply to “core and perimeter networks”.

The document was not named directly, but the wording was obviously directed at Huawei.

For CDU Prime Minister Angela Merkel had always supported a technology approval process in which assessments of producing countries were not effective. Merkel fears that excluding Huawei from 5G construction in the beginning could trigger a trade conflict with China.

CDU economic minister Peter Altmeier has always been on Merkel’s side, but it is also apparently changing its position.

However, Telefonica Deutschland, one of Germany’s three largest telecommunications operators, announced on Wednesday (December 11.2019) that it will cooperate with Huawei in China and Nokia in Finland to establish a 5G network in Germany.

Telefonica Germany, which operates under the O2 brand, is one of the few European companies that uses Huawei as a 5G supplier. The company claims that Nokia and Huawei are “recognized strategic partners” on 5G infrastructure. The company said its cooperation with Huawei and Nokia in 5G depends on technology. Both telecommunications companies have security certifications under German law,

Chinese ambassador threatens Huawei if it bans German cars from entering mainland China

According to Germany’s Handelsblatt, Chinese ambassador to Germany Wu Chen warned Germany that if Huawei is discriminated and excluded from participating in Germany’s telecommunications construction, it is likely that German cars imported into China will also encounter problems. At the same time, as the German parliament has passed a draft equivalent to excluding Huawei.

“The Chinese company is treated in Germany like any other company without any discrimination, which is very important for the Chinese government,” the Dusseldorf Business News quoted Wu Cheng as saying.

Wu further said: “If the German government decides to exclude Huawei from the German market, there will be consequences, and the Chinese government will not stand idly by.”

Wu said: “A total of 28 million cars were sold in the Chinese market last year, of which 7 million were German cars. Can we declare that German cars are not safe because we can also make cars?”

Although Wu finally added, “No (we don’t), because this is protectionism.”

At the same time, the Financial Times reported that with the support of members of the two ruling parties in Germany, Congress passed a draft equivalent to barring Huawei from participating in the construction of Germany’s 5G telecommunications system. The draft text obtained by the newspaper shows that suppliers under the government’s control should be considered “unreliable” and therefore “excluded from the construction of core and peripheral networks”.

The paper described the move as a blow to Mrs Merkel, as senior officials from the United States and German intelligence agencies demanded that Merkel take a tough stance on Huawei, but she was worried that the move would affect the economic and trade relations between the two countries, and Affects German exports to China.

German media: Huawei question? China problem!
Huawei has repeatedly assured that there will be no security holes used by spies. Why is it still not trusted by European countries? Will the constant provocation by the United States in trade disputes cause a strong response from China? German newspapers explore these topics in May,2019.

“Süddeutsche Zeitung” titled “wrong signal”, the article pointed out that Huawei is now busy lobbying European governments in an attempt to win European support with a “spyless agreement”, but this is In vain. The author believes that such an agreement must be signed by the Chinese government.

“Billions of billions of dollars of business require not only commercial means, but also political skills. Commercially, China’s telecommunications equipment giant Huawei has achieved unparalleled achievements. In just a few years, Huawei has become Became an industry giant and became China’s pride. However, in the political field, the image of this company is much worse. These days, Huawei’s representatives are traveling around Europe. Through secret negotiations or public statements, Huawei We hope to sign a “spy-free agreement” with European countries to ensure that data transmitted through Huawei equipment will not be transferred to the Chinese government. Huawei hopes to use this method to eliminate outside concerns. ”

“Huawei also lobbied the German government for the agreement, but the latter responded very little. In Berlin, few people were willing to mention the word” no spy agreement. “After Germany was tapped by the US National Security Agency, Germany and the United States After negotiating such an agreement, it ended in vain. The Germans later lobbied such an agreement with European allies, but the results were leaked, and the German Federal Intelligence Agency itself hacked the European allies on a large scale. Since then, The ‘no spy agreement’ has become the ‘sensitive word’ of the Chancellery.”

EU hesitates over Huawei, China warns EU to bear consequences

China warned the EU not to restrict Chinese companies’ access to Europe, saying that the EU would undermine its own interests and hinder Chinese investment in Europe.

China’s ambassador to the EU, Zhang Ming, said foreign company ownership, trade opportunities, and 5G and mobile communications plans could cause Chinese entrepreneurs who have “distrust” to respond.

He said in an interview that EU countries need to promote international cooperation and market freedom, “otherwise they will face disastrous consequences.” He said he hoped that the EU would uphold the principles of multilateralism, free trade, and openness, fairness, justice and non-discrimination.

Critics argue that the EU has responded to Beijing’s strategic ambitions, nationalist trade policies, and practices with Western companies, and they have complained that the EU’s response has not been timely. European companies and the governments of EU countries have long complained that China restricts their access to the Chinese market and has implemented a large number of preferential policies for domestic companies.

U.S., Japan and EU target China with WTO rule change proposal

On the eve of the first phase of the US-China trade agreement signed 15.01 2020, the United States, the European Union and Japan issued a joint statement after holding a trilateral meeting in Washington on Tuesday, agreeing to strengthen international rules on industrial subsidies under the WTO framework, although the statement did not name China, the move targeted China and urged China to remove trade barriers.

The statement said that the three parties in Europe, the United States, and Japan believed that the current subsidy provisions prohibited by WTO rules are not enough to solve the subsidy phenomenon that distort the market and trade in some regions, so the international rules in the field of industrial subsidies must be strengthened under the WTO framework. In addition, the three parties have condemned the practice of forced technology transfer.

The EU ’s trade executive member, Phil Hogan, held a trilateral meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer and Japan ’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroyuki Kojiyama in Washington on Tuesday.

Hogan said that the joint statement is an important step towards resolving global trade distortions, and the EU firmly believes that multilateral negotiations can effectively solve these problems. This joint statement also symbolizes constructive strategic cooperation among the three major players in global trade.

The three parties also hope that more countries can participate in the WTO ministerial meeting in June this year.

Although the statement did not name China, the EU has long expressed dissatisfaction with China’s impediment to market entry. Last year, the EU even went directly to China ’s market access barriers, including restrictions on foreign direct investment (FDI), subsidies and state-owned enterprises, intellectual property protection and enforcement, cumbersome approval procedures, and fifth-generation mobile communications (5G) market access. And fair competition environment.

In recent years, the European Union has joined hands with the United States and Japan to hope to actively deal with unfair competition caused by China’s distorted subsidies, state-owned enterprises and compulsory technology transfer.

The first phase of the U.S.-China trade agreement was signed that China would commit to expanding purchases of American goods, but issues including procurement specifications, product standards, and subsidies for state-owned enterprises were not included in the first-phase agreement. The United States, Europe and Japan joined forces before the U.S.-China signing of the agreement, demonstrating their efforts to urge China to face up to and deal with trade barriers.