German officials are trying to convince the nation's government to exclude Chinese networking manufacturers such as Huawei from helping build its upcoming 5G network.
Reuters has claimed that after discussing the matter with their Australian and American partners, German foreign and interior ministers have planned to ban Chinese companies from taking part in the building of the company's 5G infrastructure.
Other officials are also backing the idea, with one telling Reuters, “There is serious concern. If it were up to me we would do what the Australians are doing.“
Some countries, like the US or Australia, have already banned Chinese companies from their 5G infrastructure building effort, while other countries, like the UK, are still considering their options. Companies like Huawei or ZTE are under increasing pressure from the west, under the accusation that they're assisting the Chinese government in espionage. Some western countries believe letting Huawei or ZTE build 5G infrastructure would undermine national security.
Both companies, as well as the Chinese government, have denied these accusations, stating they are baseless rantings.
But the idea faces opposition in Germany. The Greens, for example, believe there is no legal basis to exclude the Chinese.
“Excluding all investors from a certain country is the wrong approach,” Katharina Droege, a Greens lawmaker who co-authored the Bundestag motion, told Reuters. “But we need to be able to vet individual cases in order to ensure our critical infrastructure is protected. That could lead to the exclusion of Chinese firms from building our 5G infrastructure.”