The European Union needs to show “concrete evidence” that the Chinese tech giant Huawei is a security threat, China’s Ambassador to Slovakia, Lin Lin, told EURACTIV Slovakia in an interview.
“Huawei has been accused of being a threat without any evidence. The EU has to show concrete evidence, that Huawei is a security threat,” Lin Lin said.
“The only reason for it to be a target is that it is one of the best. Some countries take it as a threat,” he added.
Citing national security concerns, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May to bar US imports of equipment produced by Huawei. The US Commerce Department said Huawei would also be forbidden to buy from US companies, some of which produce computer chips Huawei needs for its own products.
China slammed the US move and threatened to take steps to protect its companies, in a further test of ties as the economic heavyweights clash over trade.
Referring to a Global System for Mobile Communications Association report, the Chinese diplomat said there will be economic consequences if Europe bans Chinese-made equipment from its 5G network construction.
“The EU will not only have to pay extra tens of thousands of euros, but it will also experience a delay of 1.5 years in construction. If this is the case, Europe would be far behind other parts of the world, including the United States,” he said.
Lin Lin emphasised that the relations between Huawei and the Chinese government are not different from those between any major local company in Slovakia and the Slovak government.
“I think every government has a natural responsibility to promote its local industry and local companies.”
Currently, he said, Huawei has signed more than 50 commercial contracts for building 5G network and 28 came from European countries.
As far as China’s flagship Belt and Road Initiative, he said it should not be seen as a political tool but as a public product for economic development against the background of a global economic crisis.
“We also hope all countries can participate in this cooperation, as it is open and inclusive. Up to now, more than 100 countries and international organisations have shown enthusiasm to participate. Actually, V4 countries [Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland] are one of the first ones to sign a memorandum of understanding with China. We did make some progress in this respect.”
Hong Kong: Some want to harm China’s growth
Referring to the ongoing tense situation in Hong Kong, the Chinese top diplomat said no interference from other parts of the world would be accepted.
“Hong Kong used to be a British colony and it returned to China only 22 years ago and the Chinese government has pursued the “one country, two systems” policy in Hong Kong. The central government gives Hong Kong Special Administrative Region a high degree of autonomy.”
He noted that Hong Kong had played a very important role in the economic development of mainland China, in China’s reform and opening up to the world.
“People in Hong Kong contributed significantly, but at the same time, Hong Kong also benefits from the mainland’s development because we use Hong Kong as a kind of a channel for China’s cooperation, trade or financial relations with other parts of the world,” he said.
He added, though, that there were some “ill-intentioned” forces which wouldn’t like to see a stable and prosperous Hong Kong.
“They see Chinese development as some kind of threat to their own interest,” he said.
“It is very clear that there are external forces and they even provide support to those radicals. Even some people in the USA admitted it themselves, taking it as some support for the democratic demonstration.”
“They say they have a reason to do that. But can you imagine any such kind of violent activities taking place in the USA? Would the US government allow their police to be attacked with petrol bombs, or their international airport to be paralysed by demonstrators?” the Chinese Ambassador said.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos/Zoran Radosavljevic]