Huawei – what’s the truth?

unsplash-logoJonathan Kemper

On Wednesday the German Foreign Office warned against cooperation with the Chinese telecommunications provider Huawei. Huawei reacted promptly.

Huawei rejected the suspicions of the German Foreign Office. The German business magazine “Handelsblatt” had quoted from secret papers of the Foreign Ministry according to which there was evidence that the Chinese company was cooperating with the Chinese secret service.

“The Handelsblatt article repeats old, unfounded allegations without providing any concrete evidence whatsoever,” the company stated.

Nevertheless, the doubt seems to have been sown, the Germans are generally regarded as secretive and sometimes hesitant partners, but they are reliable. The fact that the information is in circulation is also unlikely to be a coincidence. The Germans also agree with the USA’s assessments.

Discussions are already beginning again about the reliability of the Huawei company in the Europe-wide expansion of the 5G network. Leading Western secret services have repeatedly warned of the links between the high-tech provider and China’s communist leadership.

At the latest since the new Chinese intelligence law of 2017, all citizens and companies based in China are obliged to cooperate with the state leadership anyway.

How rigidly the Chinese interfere in the internal affairs of foreign countries is shown by the report of the former National Security Advisor to the US President, John R. Bolton: “The nation of Zambia, for example, is currently in debt to China to the tune of $6 to $10 billion dollars. China is now poised to take over Zambia’s national power and utility company in order to collect on Zambia’s financial obligations.

Similarly, from 2014 to 2016, Djibouti’s external public debt-to-GDP ratio ballooned from fifty percent to eighty-five percent, with most of that debt owed to China. In 2017, China established a military base in Djibouti that is only miles from our U.S. base, Camp Lemonnier, which supports critical U.S. operations to counter violent terrorist organizations in East Africa.”

The rudeness of the Chinese in many parts of the world and the clear intelligence regulations in China itself allow only one conclusion: China will use the political, scientific and economic knowledge gained about Huawei to its own advantage. So the question is not whether the Chinese are doing this. Rather, the question is how Europe, how the USA, should deal with it. Already today, we are far too dependent on Chinese production capacities and know-how.