US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said NATO allies should not allow Chinese tech firm Huawei into their cellular networks, warning of the potential privacy threats from allowing such access.
According to a new report from Global News, Pelosi said the invasion of privacy that would result from having Huawei integrated into Europe’s 5G communication networks would be “like having the state police, the Chinese state police, right in your pocket.”
Pelosi’s hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.
She insisted such technology was far too sensitive to turn to over to Chinese interests, even though they can deliver such technology cheaper, thanks to the fact that the company relied on Western know-how to build its systems.
“While some people say that it’s cheaper to do Huawei — well yeah — it’s a People’s Liberation Army initiative using reversed engineering from Western technology,” Pelosi told reporters in Brussels. “So, of course it’s going to be cheaper to put on the market. And if it’s cheaper, then they get the market share and then they (China) bring in their autocracy of lack of privacy.”
Pelosi on Friday had reportedly warned against doing business with Chinese telecom Huawei, calling it the “most insidious form of aggression” and called on other nations to work with US in the global race to develop 5G networks.
“It is about putting the state police in the pocket of every consumer in these countries, because of the Chinese way,” Pelosi said. “And so, you ask about an alternative, and what I said a couple of days ago and yesterday, is that it should not be a sinofication of the information highway but an internationalization of it.”
“It is a big price to pay in terms of national security, in terms of economy and in terms of our values and our governance,” the Speaker continued. “And that is why we have bipartisan support for this position. It is not about an economic advantage, it is about a values urgency: autocracy versus democracy. And we choose democracy.”
Despite the warning, the British government has announced it will allow Huawei to build part of the country’s 5G network, prompting a group of House Republicans to introduce a resolution denouncing the United Kingdom’s decision.
Ottawa has yet to make a final decision regarding the Chinese telecommunications company’s potential involvement in the former’s 5G network.