OPINIONS Germany falls into trap of its own making: China Daily editorial


Germany falls into trap of its own making: China Daily editorial

China Daily

07:52, July 29, 2022


According to reports in the German media, the federal government might soon compel German telecommunication companies to remove Chinese components from their mobile networks.

The German Interior Ministry was quoted as saying that parts from "non-trustworthy providers" will be banned, even if they are in use. The excuse, as always, is that the components might be a threat to national security.

Although Huawei was not specifically mentioned, the Chinese telecom company is always the target of such moves as it is the world's leading supplier of network equipment. In October 2019, Germany announced that it would not ban Huawei from helping to build its national 5G networks, snubbing calls from the US to exclude the company's equipment. So what has changed in the last couple of years?

John Strand, head of business consultancy company Strand Consult, offered some insight into what has prompted the move: "We have a problem with dependency on Russian gas, but a series of EU nations, Germany included, are also dependent upon Chinese technologies." He estimates that Huawei products account for 65 percent of all components in German networks.

Germany is a core member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, shares intelligence with the US, and has thrown its hat into the ring with them in backing Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. Thus it is now cornered by its own dependency concerns into doing Washington's bidding.

The irony is that it is the US, not China, that bugged German leaders' telephones via its Prism Project. It is the US, not China, that's snooping around the world. It is the US that has initiated a war in Europe, not China. Yet German politicians have Sinophobia, not Americanophobia.

By having to source and install more expensive replacements, which will likely be inferior given that Huawei is a world leader in network telecom tech, the German companies also risk falling behind in the construction of their 5G networks. Such a scenario would not have happened had some German politicians not been so deeply ensnared in Sinophobia. And if they had not got themselves into a tizzy over their energy dependency by clinging to Washington's coattails.

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