In a dialogue with the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, Nov. 2, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer referred to the exclusion of Huawei from her country’s telecommunications due to ethical issues.
“If the technology offered to us is not beyond reproach, it cannot be used. The political ramifications would simply be too grave,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said. Thus, Germany would be the fourth country to declare Huawei a threat to national security, striking a blow at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ambitions to control 5G technology in Europe.
The minister’s comments come as part of the announcement that Germany will join its ally Australia next year to patrol the disputed Indo-Pacific zone where CCP is trying to claim sovereignty.
“Given the growing security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, my goal is to intensify our bilateral and multilateral collaboration. That could include, for example, the deployment of German officers in Australian naval units, a project that is being negotiated as we speak,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.
The presence of the CCP’s navy in the region has escalated tension with the United States, which has shown itself determined to defend the interests of its allies by deploying its naval power in the South China Sea.
In August, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar visited Taiwan, which President Trump sees as an ally, marking the highest-ranking U.S. official visit to the island.
In 2008, Australia became the first country to ban Huawei for national security reasons. The United States was the second to do so, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo insisted that Britain follow suit, saying that it would otherwise interfere with military cooperation between the two countries. The United Kingdom finally banned Huawei in 2019.
“The tide is turning against Huawei as citizens around the world are waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state,” Pompeo said in June. “The more countries, companies, and citizens ask who they should trust with their most sensitive data, the more obvious the answer will be: no to the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.”
Germany, along with other European countries, the United States and Australia, form a historic alliance in which, the minister said, they are working to expand their relations.
“I am convinced that territorial disputes, violations of international law and China’s ambitions for world supremacy can only be addressed multilaterally,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.