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‘World should have eyes wide open:’ Pompeo stokes fears over Huawei in Philippines

‘World should have eyes wide open:’ Pompeo stokes fears over Huawei in Philippines
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo rehashed the scaremongering against the Chinese telecommunications giant while in Manila, warning the world to be vigilant in the face of “risks to security.”

In an apparent bid to discourage more allies from using Huawei equipment, Pompeo has continued the US government’s onslaught on the world’s largest telecommunications supplier while visiting the Philippines on Friday.

Two of the Southeast Asian country’s wireless providers, Glob Telecom and Smart Communications, have been using equipment provided by Huawei to roll out 5G networks for millions of smartphone users. The Philippines previously brushed off the US’ concerns, which has declared open season on Chinese tech companies that are going ahead with the launch of the super-speed wireless networks.

Also on rt.com US presses allies to ditch Huawei citing cybersecurity risks from China – report

“Our task has been to share with the world the risks associated with that technology: the risks to the Philippine people, the risk to Philippine security, the risk that America may not be able to operate in certain environments if there is Huawei technology adjacent to that,” Pompeo said when asked about the prospects of Huawei operating in the Philippines.

Pompeo did not specify what would prevent the US technology from being installed alongside the Chinese equipment. US officials have been urging its partners to ditch Huawei, alleging that the Chinese tech giant will be made to spy for Beijing and can even disrupt key infrastructure.

“We want to make sure that the world has their eyes wide open as to the risks of having that technology to be part of infrastructure, backbone or networks,” Pompeo said.

The US strategy of fueling security fears, although unsubstantiated for now, appears to have born some fruit. Last week, the Philippines’s largest telecommunications company said that it would be exploring options other than Huawei, citing security concerns voiced by the US.

“I think we ourselves have a heightened concern about security on the network and devices,” Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) Chief Executive Manuel Pangilinan said last Friday.

He noted that the company entered into talks with several other providers, including Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson, while admitting Huawei has a technological edge over its competitors.

So far, New Zealand and Australia have followed the US and barred Huawei from developing their 5G networks. However, Germany has been reluctant to take Washington’s allegations that Huawei is linked to Chinese intelligence at face value, refusing to ban the company without any hard proof.

READ MORE: German cyber watchdog says no evidence that Huawei spies

Huawei has strenuously denied all the allegations that the Chinese government keeps it on a short leash, denouncing the US pressure campaign as unfair competition and an effort to put new customers off.

Also on rt.com ‘Ask Snowden’: Huawei exec pokes fun at US spying during tech show

Trading blows with Washington, Huawei’s rotating chairman referred to the US data gathering program, exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, while poking fun at the irony behind the US’ claims this week. 

READ MORE: ‘Not an atomic bomb’: Huawei founder thanks Trump for helping to ‘promote’ 5G technology

The company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, also laughed off the issue, thanking the Trump administration for helping to “promote” 5G technology.

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