The US has underscored to Germany its threat to limit intelligence sharing with countries that use Chinese tech giant Huawei to build their 5G communications networks.
US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell sent a letter to the German government last week threatening to curtail German access to US intelligence if Berlin decides to issue contracts to Huawei, according to a US official familiar with the matter.”The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy has indeed received a letter; there is no comment on its content from their side. There will be a quick reply,” said Matthias Wehler, spokesperson at the German embassy in DC. Germany announced March 7 that it wouldn’t ban any company from bidding on 5G contracts.
The letter, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, echoes a steady drumbeat of warnings by top US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, who flagged Huawei’s alleged connections to Chinese intelligence and its ability to compromise national security by selling equipment with “backdoors” that could allow for unauthorized surveillance.