enter the dragon

Key Thugs seek ban on intel sharing with countries that use Huawei
Joe Gould, Defense News, Jan 27 2020

Chinese New Year celebrations outside 10 Downing Street on Jan 24 2020.
(Photo: Lauren Hurley)

FASCHINGTON ― Key House Thugs have introduced a bill that would bar Pindo intelligence sharing with countries that allow telecom giant Huawei in their next-generation wireless networks. The Jan 27 bill would potentially downgrade America’s “special relationship” with the UK, which is reportedly expected to grant Huawei some access to its nascent 5G network. Such a move by London would be a loss for the Trump administration, which has aggressively campaigned against the company, arguing Chinese governments links to the firm mean it poses an espionage threat. Huawei denies the allegations. Rep Liz Cheney, one of the bill’s sponsors and the #3 Thug in the House, told reporters on Monday:

I think that if they make that decision, that they have Huawei in their 5G, then we have to recalculate and reassess whether or not they can continue to be among our closest intel partners. I would urge the administration to go through and look at that. I think it would fundamentally alter the relationship we have with the UK.

As Faschingstein works to maintain Pindostan’s technological edge against China, it has been wrestling with just how to shape the role that Huawei is playing in developing 5G networks worldwide. Several China critics (Cheney, Banks, and Gallagher) met with reporters on Monday to argue that the lure of cheap telecom equipment subsidized by the Chinese government is not worth the risk of Beijing gaining access to the vast amounts of data that would travel over nations’ new networks. Pindostan must form a new and creative strategy to deter China using conventional means, experts told Congress. PM Johnson is expected to decide as soon as this week whether to abide public and private warnings from Trump and other Pindo boxtops. According to the Financial Times, Johnson has been looking at imposing a market share cap on Huawei which would allow it to provide non-core telecom gear like the antennas and base stations seen on rooftops. In Germany, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, Berlin’s top natsec boxtop, was quoted Jan 25 as saying Germany must be protected against espionage and sabotage, but estimated that shutting out Chinese providers could delay building the new network by five to 10 years. Seehofer told the FAZ:

I don’t see that we can set up a 5G network in Germany in the short term without participation by Huawei.

The Trump administration itself is struggling to decide how far to go with its restrictions on Huawei, which is already on a Pindo export blacklist. The Defense Department objected to a proposed change to Commerce Dept regulations aimed at making it more difficult for Pindo firms to sell to Huawei from overseas facilities, the WSJ reported. Sens Ben Sasse, Cotton and Rubio complained in a Jan 24 letter to Sec Def Esper, demanding a briefing and arguing the rule change would have rightfully “effectively disrupted the supply chain of the CCP’s tech puppet.” Cheney and Banks proposed their legislation as a companion to a Senate bill Cotton introduced Jan 8. While the new House bill adds some weight to repeated public threats from Sec State Pompeo that the administration would curtail intelligence and military cooperation with countries that allow in Huawei, it’s unclear how far either chamber’s bill will go. Banks said:

We’re getting a growing number of interested colleagues signing onto it just because we’re giving the administration leverage with this legislation to send a signal to our allies that they’re making a grave mistake in compromising their data and potentially our national security and related intelligence data, if they choose Huawei.

Though Banks, the lead sponsor of the House bill, predicted Monday it would attract bipartisan support, even some key Thugs were unprepared to take such a hard line against the UK, a member of the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence network. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch said Monday of lead British boxtops:

Let’s wait until they make the decision and see what the decision is. Our intelligence sharing, not only with Great Britain, but the ‘Five Eyes,’ and a handful of others is really critical. They’re dovetailed together, and they’re really important.

In the Senate, a separate legislative proposal would dedicate $1 billion to spur the development of Western-based alternatives to Chinese telecom equipment. It’s sponsored by Rubio, Burr, Warner, Menendez, Bennet and Cornyn. Warner said Monday:

We’ve been saying, ‘Don’t buy Huawei,’ but we haven’t been offering a broad-based Western-financed alternative.

Warner hinted he would not favor a change in the intelligence relationship with the UK:

I think the British are our longest, best ally and a great, great partner. I don’t think I’m going to make those kinds of threats.

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