Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, Jan. 30 that the Communist regime in China is the “central threat of our times” while convincing Britain and other U.S. allies of the risks posed by using equipment from Huawei, a Chinese technology giant. 

Pompeo noted that the concerns of the United States were not about any company, but rather the Chinese’s ruling party. 

“When you allow the information of your citizens or the national security information of your citizens to transit a network that the Chinese Communist Party has a legal mandate to obtain, it creates risk,” Pompeo said.

“While we still have to be enormously vigilant about terror, there are still challenges all across the world, the Chinese Communist Party presents the central threat of our times,” he continued.

Pompeo has repeatedly warned U.S. companies of national security consequences of doing business in a country controlled by Chinese government.

“Under Xi Jinping, the CCP has prioritized something called ‘military-civil fusion,'” Pompeo explained during a conference with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in California earlier this month. “Many of you will know this. It’s a technical term but a very simple idea. Under Chinese law, Chinese companies and researchers must—I repeat, must—under penalty of law, share technology with the Chinese military.”

“The goal is to ensure that the People’s Liberation Army has military dominance.  And the PLA’s core mission is to sustain the Chinese Communist Party’s grip on power—that same Chinese Communist Party that has led China in an increasingly authoritarian direction and one that is increasingly repressive as well.  It runs completely at odds with the tolerant views that are held here in this area and all across America,” he added. 

The Trump administration in May 2019 issued an executive order barring U.S. companies from using information and communication technology from anyone considered a national security threat and declared a national emergency on the matter. The Commerce Department at the same time placed Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on its trade blacklist that prohibits them from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without the government’s approval. 

As Washington has sought to persuade governments across Europe to follow its steps, Pompeo said he was disappointed about the British government’s decision this week to allow Huawei to build part of the UK’s 5G network, but said the two countries would work through the issue and develop “what we think about this trusted network.”

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