Dismissing reports that New Zealand will adopt Britain’s approach, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated, Wellington would independently assess the risk of using China’s Huawei Technologies in its 5G networks.
On Monday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated, Wellington would independently assess the risk of using China’s Huawei Technologies in its 5G networks.
The development comes in the wake of a report which suggest that Britain’s approach to Huawei could be followed by other nations.
Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, is facing intense scrutiny over its relationship with the Chinese government midst assessments by intelligence agencies that its equipment could be used as a trojan horse for Chinese intelligence.
Huawei has denied such allegations.
In November 2018, New Zealand’s intelligence agency had rejected an initial request from Spark, a telecommunications services provider, to use Huawei’s 5G equipment.
At the time, the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) gave Spark options to mitigate national security concerns over the use of Huawei equipment, said Ardern on Monday.
She went on to add, “The ball is now in their court”.
According to Ardern, New Zealand, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network which includes the United Kingdom and the United States, would conduct its own assessment.
“I would expect the GCSB to apply with our legislation and our own security assessments. It is fair to say Five Eyes, of course, share information but we make our own independent decisions,” said Ardern.
Huawei New Zealand did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Spark said it was in discussions with GCSB officials.
“We are working through what possible mitigations we might be able to provide to address the concerns raised by the GCSB and have not yet made any decision on whether or when we should submit a revised proposal to GCSB,” said Andrew Pirie, Spark’s spokesman in a statement.
China is increasingly trying to exert its influence in the Pacific region which is a causing some worry for foreign policy analysts and politicians.