Minister: Germany needs China's Huawei to build 5G network

Feathered dinosaur

Feathered dinosaur

BERLIN (AP) - Germany's interior minister is suggesting that his country can't build a 5G mobile network without Chinese tech giant Huawei, at least for now, intervening in an issue that has caused tensions between the US and its allies.

He also called on Europeans and his compatriots to make efforts to become more competitive in this field, as no German company is now able to build the 5G network and only two European firms have that capability.

"I am against taking a product out of the market just because there is a possibility that something could happen".

The SPD maintains it wants to reach a common position with Merkel's CDU/CSU conservative group, which is divided on the issue.

Seehofer told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Germany could put additional safety nets in place to ensure the security of the system, although he did not mention what those measures could be.

"Then you have to intervene". It echoed Washington's calls to bar the company over allegations that it poses a threat to the national security of its European partners - which Huawei persistently denies. The US levied sanctions against the company past year.

The Trump administration went after Huawei - the world's No. 1 supplier of telecom equipment and No. 2 phone manufacturer - a year ago amid the escalating trade war with China.

The German government is facing pressure from the United States to exclude Huawei, arguing that the company's technology comes with "back doors" that would enable China to spy on other countries or sabotage their internet networks.

Apart from cutting Huawei's access to the American tech market, Trump has also championed a global push to shut it out from the ongoing roll-out of fifth-generation networks.

U.S. government officials have pushed for a total ban on Huawei on security grounds, and reports said they presented new evidence on Monday about the risks of using the Chinese company's equipment, branding it "madness". A final decision is expected later this month.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet senior conservative lawmakers on Thursday to resolve a dispute in her own party over whether to bar China's Huawei [HWT.UL] from the country's 5G network rollout, party sources said.

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