China Threatens Germany With Retaliation If Huawei Is Banned Under New Legislation
The Chinese ambassador to Germany, Wu Ken, claimed that the Teutonic nation would face severe retaliation if its government banned Huawei as a supplier of 5G wireless equipment, according to Bloomberg. Ambassador Wu specifically pointed out that the Chinese market was an important one for German car manufacturers.
“If Germany were to take a decision that leads to Huawei’s exclusion from the German market, there will be consequences,” Ambassador Wu said at an event on Saturday.
“The Chinese government will not stand idly by.”
The comments come shortly after new proposed legislation would put a ban on “untrustworthy” 5G companies. Though Huawei was not mentioned, many believe that the law was tailored to specifically target the controversial Chinese vendor as the measures come after a fierce debate in the Bundestag about the potential security issues presented by the company.
The legislation also comes as a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German leader had been intent on a more conciliatory policy with the telecommunications giant, and proposed a solution where Huawei only had access to less sensitive areas of technology.
Merkel’s policy was in line with Germany spy chief Bruno Kahl’s recommendations. Though he admitted that Huawei is too intertwined with the Chinese Communist Party and “can’t be fully trusted, there may be areas where a participation doesn’t have to be excluded” reports Bloomberg.
However, security hawks in the government decided to take a stronger stand, and some analysts are calling the blowback to Merkel’s measures a mini revolt.
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier immediately hit back at the threat of legislation against Huawei, specifically warning against passing laws that single out companies.
“We shouldn’t turn against individual companies and instead insist that all electronic and high technology components used in Germany meet the highest security requirements,” he said in an interview published in Der Tagesspiegel newspaper. “Whoever doesn’t meet them is out.”
Meanwhile, Ambassador Wu has maintained that Huawei is not too dependent on the Chinese government and that it has no legal obligation to provide data to the Communist party.
Wu also elaborated on the possible consequences if Germany did impose a ban on Huawei, specifically bringing up the German auto industry’s popularity in the Middle Kingdom. German cars accounted for around a fourth of the 28 million cars sold in China last year.
“Could we say one day that these German cars are no longer safe because we’re in a position to manufacture our own cars?” Ambassador Wu said. “No. That is pure protectionism.”
Germany is not the only country to scrutinize Huawei and its coziness with the Chinese government. The company has been banned in many countries, including the United States. The United States Federal Communications Commission Chief Ajit Pai has also warned that China could create a “dangerous” second internet with 5G technology, as was previously reported by The Inquisitr.