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US warns Europe against embracing China’s 5G technology



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Jul 26, 2012


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Western allies vent tension at Munich security conference:

February 15, 2020 by Michael Peel, Guy Chazan, Helen Warrell.

Top US officials threatened and cajoled European allies as cracks in the western alliance were laid bare at the Munich transatlantic security conference.

Mark Esper, US defence secretary, warned that a European embrace of Chinese 5G mobile communications technology could compromise the Nato military pact.

Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, urged an end to European talk of political clashes with Washington, insisting “the west is winning” in a world of great-power competition.

The twin broadsides highlight how the gathering of top politicians, military officers and spies in Munich set up more than 50 years ago to consolidate the Cold War era transatlantic alliance has become a place to vent its modern-day tension.

Mr Esper urged international partners to “wake up” to the “nefarious strategy” being pursued by Beijing to undermine the “international rules-based order”, including its drive to control the potentially revolutionary 5G technology.

“If we don’t understand the threat and we don’t do something about it, at the end of the day it could compromise what is the most successful military alliance in history — Nato,” he said

Mr Esper’s latest warning on the impact of 5G on Nato opens up a new front in the war of words between Washington and Europe on the dangers posed by Chinese involvement in infrastructure, from telecoms to transport and energy.

The US — which has sent a bipartisan delegation of over 40 congressional members to the security conference this year — is emphasising that it will keep up the pressure, despite European leaders taking a more nuanced view of the balance between security threat and economic gain.

The UK defied White House advice by allowing Huawei into its 5G networks last month, but the message in Munich is that the failure to take the perceived risks seriously will have consequences.

The UK has also risked raising tension with Washington by holding talks with China about a role in building the HS2 high-speed railway.

Source: The Financial Times

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