U.S. Warns Germany: Using Huawei Could Crimp Intelligence-Sharing Between Agencies

Posted March 13, 2019

'This could in the future jeopardize nimble cooperation and some sharing of information, ' the spokesman said.

Huawei recently filed a lawsuit against the United States government for labeling it a security risk and limiting its access to the American market.

That was the message delivered by Washington's ambassador to Berlin, Richard Grenell, in a letter to German economics minister Peter Altmaier, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

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An embassy spokesman declined to comment specifically on a Wall Street Journal report about the U.S. government's first explicit warning to Germany of consequences if China's Huawei Technologies Co gets a role in Germany's next-generation mobile infrastructure.

The letter, which was dated March 8, is the first time the USA has warned an ally that it faces recriminations for associating with Huawei.

Among other things, European security agencies have relied heavily on US intelligence in the fight against terrorism.

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Despite US claims to the contrary, Germany has insisted that there is no evidence Huawei has or will use its gear to engage in espionage. The country says it is willing to allow Huawei or any other foreign telecommunications company to bid on 5G networks provided they satisfy basic security protocols.

Altmaier told French news agency AFP he could not comment on the letter's contents, but said that: "We will respond quickly".

Grenell said in his letter that Chinese companies, under Chinese law, can be required to support China's security agencies and that inspections of Huawei software could not ensure there were no vulnerabilities, the newspaper said.

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Tensions have also run high over the detention of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, who is facing possible extradition to the USA on allegations she committed financial fraud in the course of allegedly violating global sanctions on Iran.