China angered by potential Huawei-ZTE ban in Germany

China has expressed anger at the news that Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE may be banned from Germany’s 5G network. China also termed the issue as ‘abuse of state power’.

Qatar-based media Al Jazeera reported this news with reference to the Chinese Embassy in Germany today.

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The embassy in Berlin said in a statement on Wednesday, “If the report is true, China is very surprised and displeased, as the relevant German government departments made this decision without any factual basis.”

The Chinese embassy called Germany’s move a simplification of the concept of national security, an abuse of state power and a potential crackdown on relations with China.

According to a report by German newspaper Zeit Online, Berlin is preparing to impose restrictions on the use of some equipment by Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE on telecom operators. Earlier, Australia, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States have taken similar initiatives.

The response of the Chinese embassy in Berlin came soon after this news was published.

According to Zeit Online, Germany’s cybersecurity agency and interior ministry made the decision after months of reviewing potential security risks in the country’s 5G network.

Western security officials have claimed that the two Chinese institutions pose a threat to national security and personal privacy because of their close ties to Beijing. For this reason, Germany is also not looking to consider them in the construction of its next generation communication network.

Huawei and ZTE have denied the security risk.

In 2021, Germany passed new legislation to develop security standards for next-generation communications networks. But so far Berlin has not imposed any restrictions against Chinese institutions like other countries in the West.

Despite increasing initiatives to move away from Chinese technology, the reality is that Germany is heavily dependent on Huawei for its 5G network. According to a survey by telecommunications consultancy firm Strand Consult, the company supplied 60 percent of Germany’s network towers and related infrastructure.

The Chinese embassy statement also said that if Germany implements this plan, the rollout of 5G services in the country may be delayed.

The embassy also said, “The German government should take into account the rational statements of the people of its own country.”

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