The United States’ national security adviser, Robert O’Brien has warned the United Kingdom about allowing China’s Huawei Technologies into its 5G telecoms networks.
O’Brien said the action would pose a risk to UK’s secret intelligence services and reminded that awareness against Huawei is rising not just in the United States, but also in Europe, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
“They are just going to steal wholesale state secrets, whether they are the UK’s nuclear secrets or secrets from MI6 or MI5,” O’Brien said, and added it is even shocking that people in the UK look at Huawei as a “commercial decision”, when 5G is actually a “national security decision”.
Germany has also been trying to strengthen rules on technical certification and inspection of telecoms equipment suppliers. However, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Conservatives have decided to delay the decision on 5G security rules as they don’t prefer to leave out any country, despite the increased pressure from the US to boycott Huawei.
In May, the US government added Huawei to its trade blacklist, amid concerns that its 5G equipment enables the Chinese government to spy on other nations.
Huawei has rejected the allegations, saying it operates independently of the ruling party of China.
However, last month, two US senators warned that private Chinese companies are required to adhere to Chinese law.
“Security experts have voiced concerns that China’s vague patchwork of intelligence, national security, and cybersecurity laws compel Chinese companies to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party”, the senators said, and added:
“Without an independent judiciary to review requests made by the Chinese government for data or other actions, there is no legal mechanism for Chinese companies to appeal if they disagree with a request”.