German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has come to the defence of Huawei today while speaking in front of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party congress in Leipzig, Germany. She told members of her party that “We shouldn’t exclude anyone from the outset” while referring to the 5G contract process. Her comments come amid pressure from the current United States administration which has suggested Huawei is a security threat.
The remarks from Merkel do seem to fly in the face of views held by other members of her own party. According to Politico, CDU party members have drafted three motions which would result in a direct or indirect ban of Huawei from the country’s 5G network. Additionally, the German Foreign Minister from the Social Democratic Party has said:
“When it comes to the security of critical infrastructure in our country, we cannot afford to ignore the political and legal realities to which a supplier is subject.”
It’s not clear exactly why Merkel is reluctant to ban Huawei but a likely reason is trade. China is a big customer of Germany’s when it comes to car and machine exports and Merkel, it has been suggested, is worried about losing this trade. To back up this view, China’s Chamber of Commerce to Germany has said that the exclusion of Huawei would cause a “highly negative impact on future economic cooperation between Germany and China”.
Whether Germany adopts Huawei technology, or not, will just depend on which political faction manages to outmaneuver the other.