17:59 GMT09 May 2021
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    The Trump administration's threats to withhold intelligence from Germany are rooted in the fact that Washington has no other means to bend Berlin to its will, Jude Woodward, author of "The US vs China: Asia's New Cold War?" tells Sputnik.

    "The problem is that the US hasn't got any other threats left," Woodward told Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear on Tuesday. "In the past, the trading relationship and the strength of the US economy and the size of the US market meant that the US had huge clout and it didn't really have to make threats."

    "If [the US] made it clear it wanted something, its key allies would just go with it. Now the problem is that… the US is forced to go to the nuclear option because it doesn't have any options in between anymore," she added.

    ​The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday that in a letter to German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell warned that the US would begin to limit intelligence sharing with Berlin if it allowed Chinese tech giant Huawei to develop its 5G technology in the European country.

    Citing German outlet Handelsblatt, Sputnik previously reported that Altmaier had confirmed the contents of the letter, but steered away from revealing any additional details in order to better map out a response to the correspondence.

    The move by the US is the latest in its months-long push to urge allies to drop relations with Huawei over concerns that the telecommunications giant is conducting surveillance on behalf of the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied such allegations.

    In December 2018, Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada over claims that she attempted to circumvent US sanctions on Iran. She is currently out on bail, and awaiting extradition to the US.

    Speaking on Meng's ever-evolving case, Woodward told host John Kiriakou that "there's many face-saving formulas" that the US could opt in order to absolve Huawei of its alleged crimes, but that it seems as though the US isn't interested in doing so at the moment.

    And then, of course, there's the case of fractured ties between Canada and China.

    "It appears that the Canadians have hung themselves… they can't let her go without totally breaching their relations with the US, but if they don't let her go, their relations with the Chinese increasingly deteriorates," she said.

    Woodward went on to suggest that the US could at a later time slap fines on Huawei to settle the matter.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    threats, intelligence sharing, Huawei, Germany, US
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