DFA denies warning gov’t vs partnering with Chinese tech giant Huawei
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) denied warning the Philippine government against the risks of collaborating with Chinese technology giant, Huawei.
The DFA issued the clarification after a recent report stated that it “supposedly warned against the risks of partnering with Huawei.”
“This is regrettable as the published document clearly bears no such warning by the Department,” the DFA said.
“More than anything, the Department is disturbed that a confidential document has been published, and it calls on relevant agencies to investigate the matter,” it added.
In the memorandum dated January 25, 2019 as shown in the said report, the DFA “respectfully informs the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the National Security Council, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) that the Czech Republic and France have issued orders to limit the use of Huawei products primarily due to security concerns.”
The memo noted that the Czech government “announced a ban on the use of Huawei and ZTE devices” last December 18, 2018 “due to possible cyber-security threats.”
The document added that the Philippine Embassy in France “reported that France has implemented operator restrictions on Huawei, amidst concerns that China could spy on countries where it has a network presence due to potential ‘backdoors’ in Huawei’s code.”
Earlier, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will investigate the allegations that Huawei is engaged in espionage for the Chinese government.
The telecommunications giant was reportedly the biggest sponsor in the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group’s 6th National Anti-Cybercrime Summit held on March 26 to 28.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his visit to Manila last March 1 that the world should have its “eyes wide open” to the risks of dealing with Huawei in telecommunication infrastructure.
“We believe that competition, whether it’s in 5G or some other technology have to be open, free and transparent and we worry that Huawei is not that,” Pompeo said in a press conference at the DFA main office in Pasay City.
“So our task has been to share with the world the risks associated with the technology, the risks to the Filipino people, the risk that America may not be able to operate certain environments if there’s Huawei technology adjacent to that,” he added. /muf