US Tells Germany To Drop Huawei, Or Else

Leroy Wright
March 13, 2019

Ignoring the warning may result in the USA downgrading its intelligence-sharing cooperation with Germany, the letter dated last Friday said.

Huawei, the Chinese company that makes the tower technology, is shunned by the major United States wireless carriers (including AT&T, which owns CNN parent company WarnerMedia) and the federal government over national security concerns.

Allowing the participation of Huawei in Germany's 5G project would mean the U.S. won't be able to maintain the same level of cooperation with Germany's security agencies, U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell wrote in a letter to Germany's economic minister.

The Wall Street Journal noted Grenell's letter is the first time the USA government has expressly threatened repercussions for American allies that purchase Huawei equipment.

Following reports that Huawei is suing the USA government, the Trump administration has informed the German government it will limit its intelligence sharing if it allows Huawei to build Germany's 5G infrastructure.

In his letter, Grenell said that Chinese companies, under Chinese law, can be required to support China's security agencies and that inspections of Huawei software could not ensure there were no vulnerabilities, the newspaper said.

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The Chinese telecoms behemoth has strenuously denied the espionage allegations. The country says it is willing to allow Huawei or any other foreign telecommunications company to bid on 5G networks provided they satisfy basic security protocols.

The German Economy Ministry confirmed that the letter had been received.

The battle with Huawei is one of many conflicts in Washington's disputes with China, but it is also exacerbating tensions in US-German ties that are strained over the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and trade.

Germany's Ministry of Economics confirmed it had received a letter from the US and that it would soon respond.

Tensions have also run high over the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is facing possible extradition to the US on allegations she committed financial fraud in the course of allegedly violating worldwide sanctions on Iran.

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