Merkel's Own Coalition Revolts: Lawmakers Seek Full Ban On Huawei Products

At a moment her coalition appears on the verge of collapsing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to go bat for Huawei even at the expense her own political legacy at the end of her fourth and final term as chancellor, no doubt partly in an effort to show up Trump.

This from Bloomberg a day after the controversial Chinese telecoms giant secured a commitment to build part of Germany’s 5G infrastructure through a deal with Telefónica SA, among the top three major mobile operators in Germany:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is facing a potential revolt in parliament by lawmakers seeking to override her China policy and effectively ban equipment supplier Huawei Technologies Co. from the country’s fifth-generation wireless network.

File image Merkel's prior visit to Japan, via Reuters.

A new bill drafted by rebels within her ruling coalition who have for months been attempting to derail her open embrace of a company which under Chinese law is obliged to collaborate with the country's intelligence authorities, would give German authorities power to exclude “untrustworthy” 5G equipment vendors from “core as well as peripheral networks.” If made law it would mark the most far-reaching ban on Huawei products in the country.

Opponents to Merkel's 'softness' on China, amid her attempts to balance sensitive but vital relations with both Beijing and Washington, fear Germany's widespread embrace of Huawei would create a ripple effect across Europe that would only encourage other countries to follow suit.

Reports Bloomberg, "The draft legislation obtained by Bloomberg News says that security guidelines set out by Merkel’s government, which include a certification process and a declaration of trustworthiness, don’t go far enough." According to the report Huawei isn't mentioned specifically in the proposed legislation, but the language makes it clear who is being targeted, coming also at the height of tensions over China relations, including backlash from Beijing over the German FM's recent hosting of Hong Kong pro-independence activists. 

China hawks in her party charge that her reckless policy opens Germany and Europe more broadly to serious sabotage and spying risks. Two months ago Merkel brushed off an EU public report which warned as much as the 5G debate raged.

Earlier this year Germany was also the first nation to rebuke Washington's diplomatic and pressure offensive to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems.

The Trump administration has told the German government it would limit the intelligence it shares with German security agencies if Berlin allows Huawei to build Germany’s next-generation mobile-internet infrastructure.

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