Huawei CEO says 5G tech is like ‘nuclear bomb’ for US, cautions against ‘new Cold War’

FILE PHOTO © Reuters / Tyrone Siu / Free

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has blasted Donald Trump’s fixation on 5G competition with China, likening the technology to a “nuclear bomb” for the US president. Zhengfei also promised to support a “no-spy agreement” with Germany.

“Unfortunately, the US sees 5G technology as a strategic weapon,” Zhengfei said in an interview with German Wirtschaftswoche and Handelsblatt newspapers.

“For them it is a kind of nuclear bomb,” he added.

Speaking to the German news outlets, the CEO said his company will not install surveillance ‘backdoors’ on its 5G equipment in the country. Berlin had been hesitant to allow Huawei to participate in its upcoming 5G rollout, citing security concerns, but the country’s chief telecoms regulator said on Monday that no equipment suppliers “should or may” be excluded.

Meanwhile, Zhengfei said he would urge the Chinese government to sign a ‘no-spy agreement’ with Germany, and commit to abiding by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Washington has put diplomatic pressure on Germany to shut Huawei out, after multiple US intelligence agencies warned that the company could be gathering information for Beijing. Zhengfei called these allegations “fairy tales,” and demanded the US “provide facts and evidence to support their allegations.”

President Trump for his part views the race to 5G as a strategic battle, telling reporters on Friday that the US “cannot allow any other country to out-compete the United States in this powerful industry of the future.”

In addition to stripping back regulations on US telecoms firms, Trump has also pressed other European allies to shun Chinese technology. While some, like Germany, France, and the UK, have tightened their regulatory standards, others like Italy, Croatia, and Hungary have moved to welcome Huawei.

If the West does not want a new Cold War, it must remain open and accept the rise of other countries.

According to the CEO: “We should focus again on economic development and create peace.”

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