The United States and Poland signed a cooperation agreement to “counter threats and ensure the safety of the next generation of mobile networks” following the controversy sparked by technology giant Huawei, reported AP.
Vice President Mike Pence and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki pledged on Sept. 2 in Warsaw to follow the principles of cybersecurity adopted by dozens of countries at a summit held in Prague this year.
“Protecting these next generation communications networks from disruption or manipulation and ensuring the privacy and individual liberties of the citizens of the United States, Poland, and other countries is of vital importance,” reads the agreement between the two nations, as reported by AP.
In this regard, Morawiecki said last week during his visit to Sweden that he was looking for the Swedish network and telecommunications company Ericsson to invest in 5G development in Poland, to the detriment of Huawei, the Chinese company that leads the implementation of 5G technology worldwide.
The deal comes after Wang Weijing, the then Polish sales director of Huawei—the world’s largest manufacturer of network infrastructure equipment—was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of espionage, according to the Times of London.
A few weeks earlier, the daughter of Huawei’s billionaire founder and chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was also detained in Canada, at the request of the U.S., on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.
In that context, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, made an international appeal to “ensure that only trusted suppliers have access to their developing networks.”
The threat of the Chinese communist regime
“We must stick together to prevent the Chinese Communist Party from using subsidiaries like Huawei to gather intelligence while supporting China’s military and state security services with our technology,” Short explained, adding that “5G networks will only be as strong as their weakest link.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda, when asked by journalists if he had evidence of Chinese espionage with Huawei technology, said, “Poland’s counterintelligence has detected activities that could be of a spy nature” and that there was an ongoing investigation.
In fact, Huawei has been under severe international scrutiny in recent months for its alleged close ties to the Chinese government, something denied by the multinational owned by Reng Zhengfei, a member of the Chinese Communist Party and a former specialist in military technology, the BBC said.
China’s 2018 laws requiring Chinese organizations to provide as much information as intelligence services require, and the history of espionage have increased the perception of the danger that represents using companies like Huawei and ZTE in critical national infrastructure around the world, leading countries like New Zealand and Australia to veto Chinese technology giants in their territories, the BBC said.