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Evaluate risk before engaging Huawei: US to other countries

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: March 8, 2019  | 13:50 IST

By Lalit K Jha Washington, Mar 8 (PTI) The US is helping its allies and partner countries in evaluating the "risks" before engaging Huawei, a senior official has said, after the Chinese telecom giant sued the American government for barring its agencies from buying its products. The Chinese telecommunication company on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the US government for prohibiting the federal agencies of using its equipment. "We are in the process of routinely engaging our allies and our partners to provide them with information to help them to evaluate the risks, to exercise vigilance, so they can secure their own systems and protect their own people," State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters at his biweekly news conference. He said the US advocates for secure telecom networks and supply chains that are free from supplier's subject to foreign government control or undue influence, which would pose risks of unauthorised access and malicious cyber activity. "Because we believe that these risks posed by vendors subject to extrajudicial or unchecked compulsion by foreign states that do not share our values need to be weighed rigorously before making procurement decisions on these technologies," Palladino said. He said this is something that the US is engaged in with other countries, and this is a decision that every nation must make for itself. Meanwhile, several US lawmakers slammed Huawei for filing a lawsuit against the government. "Huawei is a Chinese state-directed telecom company with a singular goal: undermine foreign competition by stealing trade secrets and intellectual property, and through artificially low prices backed by the Chinese government," Senator Marco Rubio said. The Communist Chinese government poses the greatest, long-term threat to America's national and economic security, he said, adding that the US must be vigilant in preventing Chinese state-directed telecoms companies, like Huawei, from undermining and endangering critical US systems and infrastructure. "That is why Congress recently acted well within our constitutional authority to block Huawei from our telecommunications equipment market due to concerns with the company's links to China's intelligence services," Rubio said. Congressman Mike Conway said that the Chinese government continues to deny their well-established use of state-directed commercial technology companies like Huawei to spy on the US. "Congress acted decisively and well within our constitutional authority in the FY19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent Huawei and other similar companies from gaining access to US government communications. Unsurprisingly, China and Huawei are not happy about it," he said. The NDAA is the name for each of a series of US federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense. Senators Jim Risch and Bob Menendez, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation that commends Canada for upholding the rule of law and expressing concern over actions by China in response to a request from the US to Canada calling for extradition of Huawei Technologies executive, Meng Wanzhou. "China invests in Italy's factories, buildings, and culture: welcome news. China wants to invest in your PORTS, however, don't be fooled: They are looking for a stranglehold," Senator Mitt Romney said in a tweet. PTI LKJ SMJ AKJ SMJ SMJ

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