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To give in to the U.S. or stand up for itself: Spain needs to decide

By Wang Zhen (People's Daily Online)    23:29, July 18, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently spoke with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Arancha Gonzalez Laya over the phone, pressing Spain on the issue concerning the 5G technology of Chinese tech giant Huawei.

This conversation took place right after the U.S. government coerced Britain into breaking its promise of welcoming Huawei’s 5G kit.

In early February, Robert L. Strayer, deputy assistant secretary for cyber and international communications and information policy at the U.S. State Department, warned officials from Spain and other members of the European Union (EU) against using Huawei in building 5G networks and suggested looking at alternative companies at the forefront of network technology.

For certain reasons, the U.S. has locked Spain as its second prey in Europe. It is difficult to get Germany and France on board as leaders of the two countries have already announced that they will continue cooperation with China, including involving Huawei’s 5G kit into their networks.

If the U.S. were to successfully persuade Spain into removing Huawei’s 5G from its networks, a country that has formed close cooperation with China and exerts certain influence on the EU, it would be a breakthrough in the EU, possibly causing other countries to follow suit and creating some impact on Germany and France.

Spain is an important participant in the Belt and Road construction and is close to Latin American countries. By driving a wedge between Spain and China, the U.S. will then influence other countries.

While reinforcing lies that Huawei 5G technology threatens information security and serves the Communist Party of China (CPC) to undermine human rights, the U.S. could try to entice other countries with “advanced technologies” and “preferential policies.”

The focus of the U.S. remains on the will to restrain the development of Huawei over the care to tackle the worsening pandemic, social unrest and recession back home.

The fundamental motivation of the U.S. may stem from seeing the spirit of the Chinese nation in achieving rejuvenation and the prospects of China’s peaceful development from the growth and strength of Huawei. For some U.S. politicians, restraining Huawei is an attempt to weaken China.

Spain has always handled major international affairs independently, including the China-Spain cooperation since the establishment of diplomatic relations 47 years ago and bilateral collaboration under the China-EU framework which have brought practical benefits for both parties.

The two countries boast a solid foundation and broad prospects in the cooperation of communication technology.

Hopefully, the Spanish government will make a choice that best suits the country’s interests on the Huawei issue. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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