While discussing Washington's campaign against Chinese tech giant Huawei on Fox Business, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo admitted that American companies "cooperate with the government" and comply with US laws, while at the same time arguing that the approach is very different from the one allegedly taken by Beijing.
Pompeo called Huawei an "instrument of the Chinese government", arguing that the two are "deeply connected", despite the company denying such claims. He argued that Chinese firms are directed by Beijing and alleged that they would pass on any technology that they obtain from the US if China’s government tells them to do so.
"That deep connectivity exists inside the way their political economy operates. That’s very different in the United States. That’s the threat that President Trump sees from Huawei", Pompeo said.
His words come amid an ongoing US pressure campaign targeting the Chinese tech giant, something which has already forced the latter to initiate litigation against the American government over the issue.
Following Washington's decision to add Huawei to a ban list, American firms started cutting ties with the company. Google reportedly stopped providing Android OS system for new Huawei devices, while firms like Qualcomm and Intel have stopped supplying the tech giant with chips.
The US has also reportedly pressured the South Korean government into stopping its use of LG equipment, as it contains Huawei tech. Several other foreign firms, like the chipmaker ARM and Japan’s Toshiba have also frozen their ties with Huawei amid concerns that their devices could contain US-made technologies.
The US has also pressured its European allies into denying access to Huawei to the development of 5G networks under the pretext that the Chinese tech firm allegedly installs backdoors in its equipment in order to facilitate Beijing's alleged cyberespionage. Huawei denies installing such backdoors or working for the Chinese government.
While some European states have expressed concern regarding the possibility of such vulnerabilities in Huawei's equipment, there is no EU-wide ban and several states, such as Hungary, France, and reportedly the UK, plan to use the Chinese company's equipment in their 5G networks.