Berlin — German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming under pressure from her own party to impose an outright ban on Chinese equipment supplier Huawei Technologies from the country’s 5G network.
The demand is part of a motion signed by 500 of her fellow Christian Democrats (CDU) to be presented at the party conference next week, according to a copy obtained by Bloomberg News. They call for alternative solutions from European providers.
Urged by hawks in Germany’s intelligence service and the US administration, the government recently agreed to ratchet up restrictions on Huawei that would block its components from the core network but allow them in less sensitive areas.
Concerns in Washington and Berlin are over the risks of Huawei’s ties to the Chinese government and 5G’s susceptibility to sabotage or espionage.
CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, like Merkel, opposes an outright ban of Huawei, and an approval of the motion by a majority of the 1,000 delegates would be seen as a vote against them. Both women have come under pressure after a series of election defeats and quarrels over policies throughout the year.
Huawei has insisted that it poses no risk to infrastructure in Europe’s largest economy, saying there’s no reason to exclude a company that’s served the telecommunications industry without fault for years.