China won't 'sit idle' if Germany bans Chinese 5G gear recklessly: ambassador

2023-08-14 09:02:38Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China will not 'sit idle' if Germany decides to ban Chinese telecommunication firms from the country's 5G network construction without offering hard evidence that Chinese firms pose a so-called "national security" threat, Chinese Ambassador to Germany Wu Ken said.

It is understandable that Berlin wants to improve the security of its own mobile network, but it should not be used as an excuse to politicize normal economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, Wu said during an interview with German daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung, which was published on Saturday.

The EU is considering a mandatory ban on member states including Germany that use companies deemed to present a security risk in their 5G networks, including Chinese telecom giant Huawei, the Financial Times reported in June, citing officials with knowledge of the discussions.

German media reported previously that the German government plans to roll out restrictive measures within the year.

Since the dawn of 2G, Chinese vendors have been participating in the construction of German telecom networks. And no issue has occurred so far, the Chinese ambassador said.

"If Germany excludes Chinese vendors without a sound reason, it not only runs counter to the market principles, but also inflicts harm on Germany itself," Wu said, adding that Chinese firms are not afraid of market competition but they need a fair treatment.

Washington has been defaming Chinese high-tech firms including Huawei and ZTE over recent years, citing so-called national security risks, but has to date failed to provide any evidence.

"Chinese companies have made positive contribution to Germany's digitalization drive. Now they grow bigger and stronger, but they are regarded as thorns in the eyes of some people -- typical behavior of 'kicking down the ladder'," Wu said.

The ambassador noted that China will not sit idle and will take necessary measures to defend interests of Chinese firms if such a ban were to be implemented without evidence

When asked about possible measures, Wu said that Germans often say the words like "giving someone a taste of his or her own medicine." "Of course, we will continue to communicate with the German side on this issue and jointly seek a solution, hoping that the issue can be resolved reasonably."

Despite the mounting pressure from Washington on imposing curbs on Chinese high-tech firms, German politicians should maintain their sobriety and give top priority to develop 5G networks and information infrastructure, and they should know clearly that banning Huawei gears will cause significant economic losses, industry observers said.

A 2022 report compiled by Danish firm Strand Consult found that 59 percent of 5G RAN networks in Germany comes from Chinese vendors including Huawei and ZTE.

Germany's national railway operator would have to spend up to 400 million euros ($437.45 million) to replace all the components in its infrastructure supplied by Huawei, German news magazine Spiegel reported earlier.

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