International

US, China in war of words over spy charges leveled against Huawei

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The diplomatic row between the US and China continues to deepen after Washington accused telecoms company Huawei of spying for Beijing.

Rejecting the claims made by the US during the Munich conference, top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi urged European leaders to ignore Washington’s calls for Huawei to be banned from developing 5G wireless infrastructure in their countries.

“The Europeans know very well what is the wise path for them to go forward,” Jiechi said.

“In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we should all work together … And Chinese law does not require companies to install backdoors or collect intelligence,” he added.

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In separate comments to the Munich conference on Saturday, Vice President Pence said the US had been “clear with our security partners on the threat posed by Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies”.

“Chinese law requires them to provide Beijing’s vast security apparatus with access to any data that touches their network or equipment,” he said.

Pence added that Washington was “calling on all our security partners to be vigilant and to reject any enterprise that would compromise the integrity of our communications technology or our national security systems”.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is the subject of intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese government with rife reports that the telecoms company is spying for Beijing.

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