By Lee Haye-ah
WASHINGTON, June 24 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday used the example of three South Korean companies to build his case against doing business with Chinese tech giant Huawei.
In a statement, Pompeo said the world is "waking up to the danger of the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state," referring to U.S. allegations that Beijing could use Huawei's equipment for espionage.
He said Huawei's deals with telecommunications operators around the world are "evaporating" as countries allow only "trusted vendors" in their 5G networks. These countries include the Czech Republic, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Romania, Denmark, and Latvia, he said.
"Some of the largest telecom companies around the globe are also becoming 'Clean Telcos,'" Pompeo continued. "We've seen this with Orange in France, Jio in India, Telstra in Australia, SK and KT in South Korea, NTT in Japan, and O2 in the United Kingdom.
"A few weeks ago," he added, "the big three telecommunications companies in Canada decided to partner with Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, because public opinion was overwhelmingly against allowing Huawei to build Canada's 5G networks."
Pompeo's statement comes amid a growing rivalry between Washington and Beijing over trade, security and core values, including accountability for the coronavirus pandemic.
In December, Pompeo wrote in an op-ed in Politico Europe that Samsung is a "legitimate" substitute to Chinese companies in building 5G networks across the European Union, adding that the South Korean conglomerate competes fairly and is headquartered in a democracy that abides by the rule of law and is accountable for its actions.
"The momentum in favor of secure 5G is building," he said in Wednesday's statement. "The more countries, companies, and citizens ask whom they should trust with their most sensitive data, the more obvious the answer becomes: Not the Chinese Communist Party's surveillance state."
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