Brazil will not accept pressure from the United States on whether the country should work with Chinese giant Huawei on constructing Brasilia’s 5G network, said Marco Pontes, minister for science, technology, innovation, and education.
Pontes, whose ministry is in charge of setting requirements for the next generation of ultra-fast internet, said no company would be excluded from the bidding process and the contractor will be chosen on the basis of merit.
"A good partner always understands the needs of the other. Just as Brazil makes no claim over what business the US does with China and whether this affects or not our agribusiness", Pontes said in an interview with Bloomberg.
According to Pontes, the tender process, which was set for the second half of this year, could be delayed until 2021 due to technical problems as experts are working out how to prevent the 5G network from interfering with transmissions from satellite dishes that transmit TV signals in the country.
The minister stressed that Brazil will tread carefully as it wants to learn from mistakes made by other countries while developing their networks.
The science minister stressed that the friendly relations between Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Trump allow Brasilia to advance in science and technology, specifically – AI, biotechnology and the use of advanced materials. However, the 56-year-old said China and Brazil are also holding negotiations on these issues.
The United States has been leading a campaign to push Huawei out of 5G development, threatening its allies with termination of trade deals and intelligence sharing. The White House claims the Chinese giant conducts espionage at the behest of the country’s government.
Huawei and Beijing deny this claim. Despite the intense US campaign to discredit Huawei, which is part Washington’s ongoing trade war with China, countries are reluctant to cease doing business with the telecom giant.