Minister points to US snooping practices . . .
German Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier made headlines this week when he defended Huawei’s 5G technologies as no more problematic than the U.S.’s snooping practices, reminding the public that it was the U.S. that spied on German Chancellor Angela Markel and tapped her personal and office phones. Altmaier has been at the forefront of the decision-making process in Germany to adopt Huawei’s 5G for upgrading Germany’s digital infrastructure in the next decade.
Standoff in the making . . .
The U.S. has been pressuring its allies to follow America’s lead and ban Huawei technologies, especially 5G. The main U.S. argument is that opening up to Huawei is equal to allowing the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence agencies full access to personal data, since Huawei is subject to Chinese state laws and regulations. In tune with these ongoing pressure tactics, the U.S. Ambassador in Berlin said that Altmaier’s comments comparing the U.S. and China were misguided and an insult to the U.S. service people who contribute to German security.
An early warning for Canada . . .
Angela Merkel’s government has been decisively in favour of moving ahead with Huawei following an analysis of economic costs and benefits that indicated that banning Chinese technologies would likely lead to reciprocal import restrictions on expensive German technologies, especially in the automotive sector. China is now the number one export destination for German value-added exports. Germany’s case is a proxy example for Canada when it makes its decision on 5G technologies, including the diplomatic interactions that can be expected from key trading partners.
- DW: Huawei and 5G – it’s a minefield
- Reuters: Germany does not want to ban Huawei from 5G networks
- South China Morning Post: German minister and US envoy clash over Huawei’s possible participation in 5G