A former German intelligence chief has just warned that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is on the verge of “world domination” and urged the West to wake up to such a danger as soon as possible.
Gerhard Schindler, who led the German intelligence service from 2011 to 2016, said that Beijing was extending its influence across Europe, Asia, and Africa and could be using the technology it exports to these regions for sinister purposes.
In an interview with The Times, Schindler asked Berlin to remove Huawei from its 5G mobile network so that the country would be “less dependent” on Beijing, echoing the U.S. government’s fears that the telecommunications company could be used to spy for the CCP.
According to the former intelligence agent, the problem may lie in the close trade relations between the two countries that reached a total value of $243 billion last year.
In turn, according to the Daily Mail, the country’s three mobile network operators are Huawei customers.
They have argued that replacing the Chinese company’s equipment and starting up with another provider would be expensive.
That is why, until now, Germany has not banned the company permanently. However, according to the South China Morning Post, it is trying to introduce new rules to guarantee the security of 5G networks equivalent to a de facto exclusion of the Chinese company.
In that sense, Schindler assured: “We should strive to be less dependent” instead of seeing everything through the lens of “business relations.”
Europe joins the US and turns its back on the Chinese regime
Several European countries have already banned Huawei’s participation in the 5G networks on their territories because it represents a national security risk.
The last country to move in this direction was Sweden, which also made it clear that the use of the Chinese company ZTE will not be allowed either and that the equipment already installed by both companies must be removed before Jan. 1, 2025.
“The influence of the one-party state on the country’s private sector implies strong pressure on companies to act under the state objectives and national strategies of the Chinese Communist Party,” said the Swedish Telecommunications Authority when justifying its veto on Chinese suppliers.
The authority added that in this context, the Swedish security forces consider that the state and the Chinese intelligence service “can influence and put pressure” on Huawei and ZTE.
With this measure, Stockholm joined other European countries and nations such as Australia and Japan that banned Huawei’s equipment installation. The company was accused of having close ties to the People’s Liberation Army of the Chinese communist regime.
In France, the Chinese equipment manufacturer will not be subject to a total ban on the 5G mobile internet market. Still, operators already using Huawei will have operating authorizations limited to eight years.
This month, it was announced that the companies Orange and Proximus, dispensing with Huawei, chose Nokia to provide them with the equipment and infrastructure necessary to build 5G networks in Belgium.
In the case of Italy, although it has not yet banned Huawei—and has joined the One Band, One Route initiative last year,—its primary telecommunications operator has decided not to use the Chinese company’s 5G equipment.
In early September, Telecom Italia’s CEO, Luigi Guibitosi, said there would be no problem developing 5G even if Huawei were banned. According to a South China Morning Post report, he explained that its principal partner is Sweden’s Ericsson.
For its part, the National Defense Committee of the British Parliament stated this month that there is clear evidence that the company headed by Ren Zhengfei is in collusion with the Chinese communist regime. It urged the government of Boris Johnson to withdraw all equipment from the telecommunications company by 2025.
In July, the Prime Minister had ordered Huawei to be off Britain’s 5G networks by 2027. However, the defense committee said that the purge should take place two years earlier, even if such action means a financial penalty for the current operators.
They said the world’s leading democracies should align to counter the threat from the CCP and other dictatorships around the world.
“The Committee supports the proposal to form a D10 alliance, consisting of ten of the world’s largest democracies, to provide alternatives to Chinese technology and to combat the technological dominance of authoritarian states,” the report said.
“The West must urgently unite to advance a counterweight to China’s tech dominance,” added Committee Chairman Tobias Ellwood.