The U.S. has issued warning to Germany that they would scale back the exchange of intelligence if their European ally allows Chinese companies to help build a high-speed internet network.
A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Berlin told dpa that having “untrusted vendors’’ in Germany’s 5G network “could raise future questions about the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive communications.
“This could in the future jeopardise nimble cooperation and some sharing of information.’’
The comments came after the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the U.S. raised the issue of Chinese firms’ involvement, particularly the telecommunications giant Huawei, in a construction of the 5G network in a letter to the German economy minister.
According to newspaper, which had access to the letter, U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell wrote that U.S.-German cooperation could only continue at its current level if Chinese firms were excluded from the construction of the 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.’’
The U.S. has been pushing back against China’s technological expansion by asking that other countries refuse to adopt Huawei’s 5G infrastructure, which Washington says poses security threats.
Germany’s Ministry of Economics confirmed it had received a letter from the U.S. and that it would soon respond.