US Won't Work With Countries That Use Huawei, Pompeo Warns

Jeff Baumgartner
2/21/2019

Raising the heat and the rhetoric over security concerns about Chinese telecom vendor Huawei, US Secretary State Mike Pompeo on Thursday issued a warning that the US won't work with allies and other countries that use Huawei technologies.

"If a country adopts this and puts it in some of their critical information systems, we won't be able to share information with them," Pompeo said in an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network. "We won't be able to work alongside them."

And that warning could factor into how the US deploys resources overseas, he said, when asked if the US is concerned about some parts of Europe pushing back on the US's move to stop or ban the use of Huawei's technology.

"In some cases, there's risk that we won't be able to colocate American resources... an American embassy, an American military outpost," Pompeo said.

Earlier in the conversation, he said US officials have been attempting to share information about US concerns about the purported security risks posed by Huawei.

"We've been out around the world just making sure everybody had the same information, that countries understand the risk of putting this Huawei technology into their IT systems," he said. "We think they'll make good decisions when they understand that risk."

He also claimed that the continued use of Huawei technology by some in Europe stems from "commercial" motivations and that the prices the Chinese vendor offers is "tantalizing."

"They offer really good economic deals to these countries. It looks cheap," he said, adding later that 5G will be a long-term technology, so it's "important that we get it right, the world get[s] it right, from a security perspective at the outset."

He also reiterated the US position that Huawei works alongside the Chinese People's Liberation Army, an accusation that Huawei has vehemently denied.

Go here to watch the Huawei-focused part of the interview.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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