“There will be consequences”

Ambassador Wu Ken warns, “If Germany were to take a decision that leads to Huawei’s exclusion from the German market, there will be consequences. The Chinese government will not stand idly by.

He indirectly threatened retaliation against the German automakers in China with a hypothetical example. “It would be pure protectionism if Bejing labeled German vehicles unsafe just because it can produce its own cars.”

Germany’s share of the world auto market has fallen by half in recent decades. German companies produced 8 million cars in China in 2018, about a quarter of the market. German automakers have invested tens of billions in China.

Merkel has refused to eliminate Huawei despite extreme US pressure but many German legislators are now making that demand. Some say they are ready to bring down the government over the issue. Her own defense Minister has spoken out.

I have no way to determine whether the opposition to Huawei arose because of German politics, US pressure, hatred of China, or not understanding the real security issues.

Western governments almost certainly have near total access to Ericsson and Nokia equipment. That’s probably also true of China and Russia. China does not need Huawei’s help to spy.

Lu put it well: “There is a very nice German saying, namely the ‘presumption of innocence.’ Please, show us the evidence that Huawei poses any security threat. If there is nothing like that, Huawei must continue to operate on the German market.”  

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