The U.S. (and other countries, ahem Canada) have not presented any conclusive evidence that Chinese telecom giant Huawei threatens their national security and are merely stirring fears out of self-interest, a Chinese government spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
According to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, Huawei’s critics are conjuring up threats and misusing state power to “suppress the legitimate development rights and interests of Chinese enterprises” and are “using political means to intervene in the economy.”
Hua continued his slam of the US saying that “all countries should deal with relevant matters in an objective, comprehensive, rational, and correct manner, rather than fabricating excuses of all kinds for one’s own pursuit of interest at the cost of others, which is quite hypocritical, immoral, and unfair.”
Needless to say, Hua’s comments – coming just as US trade negotiators are in Beijing with president Xi unexpectedly set to join the discussions – at a daily briefing were “some of the sharpest yet” in the growing feud over Washington’s drive to convince other nations to shut Huawei out of their markets due to national security concerns, Reuters reported.
Huawei – the world’s biggest supplier of network gear used by phone and internet companies and the leaders in 5G technology – insists that it is independent and poses no threat to the security of others, but has long been seen by some as a front for spying by the Chinese military or security services. It’s also why the United States, Australia, Japan and some other governments have imposed curbs on use of Huawei technology, including smart phones.
US warnings about the risks of Chinese telecom technology come as governments are choosing providers for the rollout of 5G wireless internet, where Huawei is among the global leaders.
Escalating the growing boycott of Chinese telecom, on Tuesday in Poland, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated a warning that the United States may be forced to scale back certain operations in Europe and elsewhere if countries continue to do business with Huawei. Pompeo said the U.S. had strong concerns about Huawei’s motives in Europe, especially in NATO and European Union member states, as well as its business practices.
“We’ve made known the risks that are associated with that, risks to private information of citizens of the country, risks that comes from having that technology installed in network systems,” he said.
The US has argued that under Chinese security laws companies such as Huawei or ZTE could be compelled to hand over data or access to Chinese intelligence. However, Hua responded that such concerns were based on provisions of China’s national intelligence law that differ little from similar legislation in other countries.
“It is an international practice to maintain national security with legislation and to require organizations and individuals to cooperate with national intelligence work,” Hua said.
And, in the angriest retort to Washington yet, Hua accused the US of creating “conspiracy theories” backed by nothing but hearsay, and that lacking solid evidence, the U.S. “keeps making up crimes and churning out various threat theories.”
“We believe that this is very hypocritical, unfair and immoral,” she said. All nations, Hua said, have an obligation to “abide by the market principle of free and fair competition and truly safeguard the market environment of fairness, justice and non-discrimination.”