WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States will discuss threats posed by China, including the country’s dominance of 5G telecommunications networks, when U.S. President Donald Trump meets with allies at a NATO summit in London next week, an official told reporters on Friday.
Even as the United States and China strive to complete an agreement on the first phase of a trade deal, a senior administration official said the United States will insist that allies use trusted network providers.
“This is a very, very high priority for us and the president is going to reiterate that message,” the official said.
The United States has warned allies against using equipment made by China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, saying that its gear could be used by China for spying. Concerns have focussed on a Chinese law on domestic companies’ cooperation with the government on security matters, with critics saying that these could compel them to be a vehicle for Chinese spying.
Huawei denies the allegations made by Washington.
The U.S. official added that China presents a challenge to NATO and wants to undermine the rules-based international order.
“China is actively seeking a great presence and more influence across the globe, including in NATO’s area of responsibility,” the official told reporters.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing have been inflamed by Trump’s signing into law on Wednesday bills that back protesters in Hong Kong and threaten China with possible sanctions on human rights. The bill signing prompted China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday to warn of “firm counter measures.”
(Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)