Pompeo Says World Should Have ‘Eyes Wide Open’ About Chinese Tech Risks

March 1, 2019 Updated: March 1, 2019

MANILA—U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on March 1 that the world should be “eyes wide open” about the risks of using Chinese technology, and that there could be problems for American firms operating in certain places where Huawei equipment was deployed.

Pompeo was asked during a visit to Manila about the prospect of the Philippines using Huawei 5G technology in the future as it seeks to modernize outdated telecoms infrastructure.

“Our task has been to share with the world the risks associated with that technology—the risks to the Philippine people, the risk to Philippine security, the risk that America may not be able to operate in certain environments if there is Huawei technology adjacent to that,” he told a news conference.

“We want to make sure that the world has their eyes wide open as to the risks of having that technology to be part of infrastructure, backbone or networks.”

The U.S. government has been piling pressure on Huawei, the world’ s biggest telecommunications equipment maker and trying to prevent American firms from buying Huawei routers and switches, as well as advising allies to do the same.

Security concerns over Huawei’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party—including that the company’s products could be exploited by Beijing to conduct espionage—has sparked the U.S. administration to warn its allies against cooperating with Huawei in rolling out the next generation (5G) of mobile communications.

In February, Pompeo went on a four-day European tour of Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. He urged those countries lured by China’s investments to consider the risks carefully, especially in regard to working with the embattled Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

The three European countries are members of Beijing’s “16+1” initiative to intensify cooperation with 16 central and eastern European countries, including in the infrastructure, finance, and technology sectors.

Since 2012, Beijing’s investments under the platform have totaled more than $20 billion, according to the initiative’s official website. Chinese loans given to fund infrastructure projects, however, come with a caveat: the projects must use China-made materials.

By Martin Petty. The Epoch Times contributed to this report.