Monday, 09 November 2020 11:02

China hits out at US for pushing Egypt to reject use of Huawei gear Featured

China hits out at US for pushing Egypt to reject use of Huawei gear Image by Cesar Salazar from Pixabay

The latest battleground for the US and China is Egypt, where an American official has warned authorities that they should avoid using Chinese technology for their 5G networks.

The website Al-Monitor reported that Keith Krach, US under-secretary of state for economic affairs, had told a media conference at the US embassy in Cairo: "They (Chinese companies) offer cheap to negligible prices, but in the long run, the cost will be exorbitant because it is a matter of data protection."

Krach is the same official who was reported to have warned Italy and Germany that they should reconsider the use of Huawei gear, without providing evidence for his claims. He added that EU countries should only use 5G equipment from Nokia and Ericsson.

China's ambassador to Egypt, Liao Liqiang, hit back a couple of days after Krach made his claims, according Washington of setting up spying platforms and suppressing Chinese companies that wanted to introduce 5G technology.

“What the US side is calling for under the name of a ‘clean network’ can safely be called 'a dirty network', 'an eavesdropping network', 'a monopoly network' and 'an ideological network',” Liqiang said.

“In order to prevent Chinese companies from achieving a leading feature in the field of 5G, US politicians have resorted to every means possible to suppress such companies. “Chinese-Egyptian co-operation is a matter restricted to China and Egypt and does not require any US interference.”

Huawei has a major presence in Egypt and its network service centre for North Africa is based in Cairo.

Washington has campaigned for more than two years to try and push countries it considers allies to avoid using 5G equipment from Huawei in their networks. Thus far, Australia and Vietnam have said openly that they would follow the US' lead. Sweden recently became the third country to say so openly.

Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Poland have indicated that they are likely to toe the US line, but have yet to make public pronouncements about what policy they would follow.

The UK broke ranks with the US in January, saying it would allow Huawei to supply up to a third of equipment for non-core parts of its 5G networks but more recently changed its stance, saying it would remove Huawei gear completely by 2027.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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