Amid trade, Huawei furors, U.S. House panel launches China 'deep dive'

18 Mai, 2019, 04:28 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Associated Press

The United States has been actively pushing other countries not to use Huawei's equipment in next-generation 5G networks that it calls "untrustworthy". Japan, Australia and New Zealand have also effectively banned the company from 5G infrastructure projects. It runs research and development bases around the world in an effort to wean itself off of high-end US components. But Germany and France have not followed suit.

That certainly provides some context to the issue, but it doesn't address the core point.

The decision taken on Wednesday risks escalating tensions with China as the world's two largest economies clash over whether Huawei - the world's largest provider of telecommunications equipment - poses a spying risk to Western infrastructure networks.

European nations have resisted US entreaties to ban the company's equipment from their 5G networks.

Huawei CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei walks inside Huawei's headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, Guangdong province October 16, 2013.

In Beijing, a Chinese Commerce Ministry official said,"China will take all necessary measures" to ensure the rights of Chinese companies.

Huawei has reportedly stockpiled 12 months worth of stock of key components in anticipation of the move.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Former MI-6 chief Richard Dearlove wrote in a report released today that the United Kingdom needs to rethink its decision to partner with Huawei even in the limited manner proposed by Theresa May's government.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Trump had given his department 150 days to establish a process to screen USA companies' purchases of equipment from Huawei and other equipment providers with which officials have concerns. The company denied its products pose a security threat and say it is independent of the Chinese government.

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"No part of the Communist Chinese state is ultimately able to operate free of the control exercised by its Communist Party leadership", said Dearlove.

"It's very hard for Huawei to build a 5G base station without USA semiconductor technology", says Brett Simpson, co-founder at Arete Research, a London-based technology research group. Huawei is considered the most important aim of the measure.

Do you have a question about Donald Trump's national emergency or Huawei?

Don't forget about the extradition fight over Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada either.

In recent months, the USA government has taken a number of steps against the firm, including getting Canadian authorities in December to arrest Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou over allegations of defrauding several banks by concealing payments from Iran in violation of US sanctions. But U.S. officials have presented no evidence of any Huawei equipment serving as intentional conduits for espionage by Beijing. One of the Canadian citizens to face formal charges is Michael Kovrig, a former diplomat who has been charged with "gathering state secrets and intelligence for abroad".

Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, asked if China had invited US officials for more talks, said China always advocated resolving disputes through dialogue.

On Thursday, China protested the Trump administration's decision to issue an executive order apparently aimed at banning equipment sold by telecoms gear maker Huawei from USA networks.

At the same time, Beijing formally arrested two Canadians who have been detained for months on national security grounds, a move widely seen as retaliation for Ottawa's arrest of a Huawei executive a year ago at Washington's behest. Last month, the United Kingdom made a decision to allow Huawei restricted access to its 5G networks, a move first reported by the Daily Telegraph.

"Fortunately for Huawei, both manufacturing and the telecommunication equipment market were surging", Jeffrey Towson, an equity investor and expert on China's digital scene, writes in The One Hour China Book, an analysis of successful Chinese businesses.

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