Legislators from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party are set on Tuesday to back a method paper that stops short of barring China’s Huawei from participating in the launch of Germany’s 5G network.
The move would resist U.S. Prez Trump’s calls on Washington’s aides to ban the Chinese telecoms titan from next-generation networks after Britain stopped short of an outright ban and the European Union-backed a guidelines-based approach.
Leading Christian Democrat legislators signed off on the four-page paper Monday after weeks of bickering with hardliners who sympathize with U.S. signals that Huawei’s gear isn’t secure and it’s beholden to Beijing.
The paper seeks instead to ascertain elementary principles underpinning a risk-management strategy.
Ironing out differences with a bloc of pro-American legislators headed by Norbert Roettgen, chairperson of parliament’s foreign affairs panel, will be a necessary step in the direction of developing a broader consensus in Merkel’s coalition and throughout party strains.
It will also be necessary for Germany to present a coherent position at a security conference in Munich this weekend that might be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
It would be costly and probably risky for Germany, Europe’s largest financial system, to eliminate Huawei. Its three network operators are all clients of the Chinese vendor, and Berlin is worried that such a step might provoke trade retaliation by Beijing.
With that in mind, the paper makes a clear separation between access, transport, and a core network that is particularly delicate, thus permitting different handling of Huawei parts in the numerous elements of the 5G network.