Beijing on Thursday slammed U.S. warnings of “consequences” if Brazil chooses Chinese telecom company Huawei to develop its 5G network, accusing Washington of “unscrupulous oppression” of the Chinese tech companies.
Beijing on Thursday called the ambassador’s remarks an example of the U.S. “openly coercing other countries to obey the will of the United States.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the United States opposed the use of Huawei products not on national security grounds, but because they object to the rise of Chinese firms.
“When other countries’ enterprises achieve a leading advantage, U.S. politicians will fabricate excuses to use national power to conduct unscrupulous oppression,” Wang said at a regular press briefing.
Huawei — the world’s top producer of telecom networking equipment — has become a pivotal issue in the geopolitical standoff between Beijing and Washington, which claims the firm poses a significant cybersecurity threat.
Brazil is due to launch a tender next year for a project to develop the next generation of telecom technology in Latin America’s most populous country, home to 212 million people.
The U.S. ambassador in Brasilia, Todd Chapman, warned in an interview of “consequences” if Brazil goes against U.S. advice and picks the Chinese firm.
Washington has effectively barred Huawei from the U.S. market and waged a global campaign to isolate the company. The British government bowed to growing U.S. pressure and pledged this month to remove Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
The Government of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appears split over the approval of the use of Huawei 5G technology in Brazil, and the final decision will be made by the President himself, through a decree on the subject, based on technical and legal input from the ministries involved.