The Trump administration is putting countries on notice that if they don’t cut ties to the Chinese 5G company, Huawei, that the US won’t be sharing intelligence with them:
. @realDonaldTrump just called me from AF1 and instructed me to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize our ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) February 16, 2020
This has already caused friction between Trump and Boris Johnson, who apparently had a ‘difficult’ phone call earlier this month over the fact that the UK is allowing Huawei to build their 5G network:
The Prime Minister spoke to the US President last week soon after he announced that the Chinese manufacturer would be allowed to work on the UK’s next-generation 5G mobile phone network – despite strong opposition from the US.
A source briefed on the phone call told the Financial Times that Mr Trump was ‘apoplectic’ with Mr Johnson. A second official confirmed the call between the pair was ‘very difficult’.
British officials with knowledge of the exchange said they were taken aback by the force of the president’s language towards Mr Johnson, the FT reported.
Downing Street and the White House declined to comment. However, a government source told the Mail: ‘These calls can get overheated at times.’
US vice-president Mike Pence confirmed the Trump administration had made its disappointment ‘very clear’ to the UK following Mr Johnson’s announcement.
The reason for this friction is that the US believes that China intends to spy on the world via Huawei and “steal corporate secrets, censor content and track dissidents”.
In an odd twist, it turns out that Nancy Pelosi actually agrees with Trump on this one:
HUFFPO – No NATO ally should succumb to the temptation of letting Chinese tech giant Huawei into their next-generation cellular networks, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday at Allied headquarters, turning U.S. opposition to Huawei into a bipartisan effort.
Pelosi said the invasion of privacy that would result from having Huawei integrated into Europe’s 5G communication networks would be “like having the state police, the Chinese state police, right in your pocket.”
She insisted such technology was far too sensitive to turn to over to Chinese interests, even though they can deliver such technology cheaper, thanks to the fact that the company relied on Western know-how to build its systems.
“While some people say that its cheaper to do Huawei — well yeah — it’s a People’s Liberation Army initiative using reversed engineering from Western technology,” Pelosi, the senior Democratic lawmaker, told reporters in Brussels. “So, of course it’s going to be cheaper to put on the market. And if it’s cheaper, then they get the market share and then they (China) bring in their autocracy of lack of privacy.”
I didn’t think Pelosi could get past her burning hatred for Trump to actually agree with him on anything. I guess it’s good to know she has a teeny bit of common sense…