A Former US Congressman Criticizes Allies Using Huawei Just ‘Because It Is Cheaper’

By Kate Wang

A former chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee, criticized allies for using Huawei to build their 5G infrastructure simply because it is cheaper, and therefore ignore the inherent security risks.

“It (Huawei) is part of or a functioning subservient enterprise to Chinese intelligence and defense services. They are national security apparatus,” said Mike Rogers, former Chairman of the US House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers warned that Huawei is part of the Chinese National Security Apparatus. He also criticized allies, including Germany and the UK, for allowing Huawei to participate in their 5G infrastructure just because it is cheaper.

As the largest overseas market for Huawei, Europe has become a key battlefield to contain the Chinese telecom giant’s 5G expansion efforts and its associated security risks.

On Monday, Denmark’s largest telecommunications company TDC just announced that it will choose Ericsson as its partner for 5G network infrastructure, thereby keeping Huawei out of its new system.

However, even under Washington’s repeated warnings, Germany did not exclude Huawei’s equipment from its 5G spectrum bidding which began on Tuesday.

“And the reason they’re pushing back, by the way, including big great American Telecommunications companies, is the fact it’s cheaper. What other products in the world would you buy knowing well I am going to have a security risk. I am just going to have to figure out how I defend it better, because it’s $4 cheaper?” Rogers said.

As a member of the Five Eyes Alliance, the UK can share confidential information with the United States. For the Huawei system, the UK government is still conducting its telecom security assessment. However, a British cyber security official already said last month that any security risks Huawei posed could be managed.

Experts believe that the UK’s weak attitude is because it is in the critical juncture of Brexit, and foreign investment is dearly needed. Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei has stated that if the United States does not trust Huawei, he will shift a large amount of Huawei’s new investment into the UK.

“So (British) political leadership is hungry for anything, and Huawei is pushing at the door. I don’t think from what I understand Huawei is doing enough to mitigating the concerns raised in the report, but anyway, they are offering investment and that’s very attractive for the British,” said John Hemmings, adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Experts worry that even if Huawei’s 5G equipment can be excluded from the intelligence and military communication system of the Five Eyes alliance, it will still deeply affect the intelligence cooperation among them.

“Remember the hack on the OPM, which gained a lot of access to the personnel files of five million Americans. So imagine that just on a regular basis, so any five eyes conversations or debates, it will be always wondering to what extend each of them have been compromised previously,” said Hemmings.

Kate Wang, NTD News.