(Feb 18): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped up U.S. warnings about Beijing’s global telecommunications ambitions, saying Chinese operator Huawei Technologies Co. must be prevented from controlling the next generation of wireless networks.
Pelosi said autocracy in China makes Huawei a threat to western countries as they prepare to develop 5G telecom networks.
“If we were to let Huawei have the information-highway dominance, it would be like putting the state police in the pocket of every person who uses that highway,” Pelosi told reporters on Monday in Brussels after holding meetings with European Union officials.
A transatlantic split has emerged over the prowess of Chinese technology companies, with the U.S. demanding an outright ban on Huawei gear and the EU seeking to balance security concerns with Huawei’s promise of the fastest, cheapest roll-out of 5G networks.
Pelosi, a Democrat from California, warned EU governments against being lured by competitive Chinese pricing.
“What you might gain in price you lose in values,” she said. “The information highway should be democratized, it should not be dominated by an autocratic approach to it.”