Instead of cooling off, the situation is getting heated. Namely, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned Hungary and other European countries on Monday that if they continue to do business with the Huawei, United States will have to tone down certain operations in said countries. This is the new round in the USA vs. China Phone Wars which seems to be escalating outside the borders of the two countries.
Pompeo was on the five-nation European tour when he expressed US concerns about China and Russian presence in Central Europe. If this continues, Pompeo stated that the countries will have to choose between the United States and Huawei. Although this warning regards the whole of Central Europe, Pompeo issued this statement in Hungary where Huawei is very popular.
“They are a sovereign nation,” said Pompeo regarding Hungary. “They get to make their own decisions. What is imperative is that we share with them the things we know about the risks that Huawei’s presence in their networks present — actual risks to their people, to the loss of privacy protections for their own people, to the risk that China will use this in a way that is not in the best interest of Hungary.”
But these US warnings have been happening for some time now due to the fact that 5G technology is almost here and it’s time to choose the provider. Based on Pompeo, Huawei’s presence will lead to a strained relationship with some allies since the US doesn’t want to have its presence at the same place where people use the technology of this Chinese tech giant.
Pompeo spoke with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto and intends to do the same with Prime Minister Viktor Orban who has been leaning towards Russia and China in his politics. The plan is to present them with risks Huawei’s equipment represents and then leave it to them to make their decision with whom to work with.
The US made numerous accusation towards China for using Huawei for spying. China found these accusations totally unreasonable and United States’ way to deal with the competition. The US Government has raised an indictment against Huawei on 10 counts for trade secret theft which has been happening since 2012. Also, it charged Huawei CFO and daughter of its founder Meng Wanzhou with financial fraud. China forbade the use of Apple devices and even have threatened financial penalties to those who buy or have an iPhone.
In the other hand, Szijjarto stated that Huawei is present but not as much as it used to be. Additionally, he reminded Pompeo that Hungary makes up for only 1.2 percent of trade between the EU and China.
Pompeo will deliver the same message in Slovakia on Tuesday, and then Poland where he will participate in the conference regarding the future of the Middle East. His plan is to create better relations with Central Europe something that was weak in the past and thus made room for Russia and China to expand their influence.
Do you want to know how it came to this? This is where the phone war began!