USA to Germany: We’ll cut intelligence sharing over Chinese 5G help

BP_Curtis

BP_Curtis

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell wrote in a letter to German economic minister Peter Altmaier that such cooperation would have to be scaled back, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said that it had received the respective letter from the USA authorities.

The US has warned Germany that it would limit its intelligence sharing with the countries that allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to participate in its 5G communications network.

While the U.S. Embassy said it could not comment on diplomatic communications, "the U.S. position on 5G network security is well known".

Huawei has strenuously denied allegations its equipment could be used for espionage.

Altmaier told a television talk show on Thursday that Germany did not want to ban Huawei but would change its laws to ensure all components used in the 5G networks are secure.

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The letter, which was dated Friday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, marks the first known time the US has explicitly warned an ally that refusing to ostracise Huawei could lessen security cooperation with Washington.

Germany reportedly relies on USA intelligence to combat terrorism, so the threat of decreased collaboration in this area carries significant weight. But suspicions have increased enough that the company's founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, tried to quash them earlier this year, when he said, "No law requires any company in China to install mandatory backdoors".

The U.S. clash with Huawei includes a deep disagreement over the arrest in Canada and possible extradition of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is also the founder's daughter.

Earlier, Berlin made a decision to continue using Huawei gear to launch the next generation 5G network but with tighter security standards and measures.

The move of United States to restrict Germany's access to its intelligence is a massive blow in Germany's security community, as it's a primal consumer of U.S. intelligence from the National Security Agency and other USA intelligence reporters in curbing terrorism.

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