China has come back strongly in retaliation to a report released recently by the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The report warned US companies against doing business with China's Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp, as their equipment “could open doors for spying”. In its response now, the Chinese government minced no words in conveying that the relations between the two countries would sour because of the report by the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee.
The committee, in its opinion, had shared that by allowing Huawei to “build and maintain large swaths of America's telecommunications infrastructure opens a door for the Chinese government to spy on the U.S. government and engage in industrial espionage.”
China hits back at allegations
China-based Huawei Technologies is a leading maker of telecommunications gear, and a revelation such as this would hit its ambitions hard. Huawei Technologies, in its response, had affirmed that it has been “globally trusted and respected”, doing business in almost 150 markets with more than 500 operator customers, including nationwide carriers across every continent except Antarctica.
“The security and integrity of our products are world proven,” William Plummer, a company spokesman in Washington, said in an email. “Those are the facts today. Those will be the facts next week, political agendas aside.”
Chairman Mike Rogers, in the US House of Representatives' Intelligence Committee report stated, “If I were an American company today … and you are looking at Huawei, I would find another vendor if you care about your intellectual property; if you care about your consumers' privacy and you care about the national security of the United States of America.”
Both companies have refuted the charge levied on them that their expansion in the United States has been proving to be a security risk. Reportedly, the companies have gone further and stated that “they operate independently of the Chinese authorities”.
Interestingly, Rep. C.A. Ruppersberger, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, in response to China's grouse stated that, Chinese companies may be a victim of cyber spying by their own government. “This, combined with recommendations in the report—such as being more transparent and following U.S. and international law—would help them expand their markets.”
Meanwhile, spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden at the White House has added that the administration is reviewing the congressional report and “has been working closely with the telecommunications industry to identify national security risks.”
The US Defense and Commerce Departments are in the process of assessing the extent to which foreign companies are in US telecommunications networks. Last year, The White House launched a review that was partly triggered by concerns over Huawei. It pertained to security issues presented by US telecom networks being run on foreign equipment.