(DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Secretary of Defense Urges NATO Allies to Block Chinese-Built 5G Tech

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is calling on allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to bar Chinese companies from developing 5G networks there, reiterating an American argument that largely has failed to convince European countries to blacklist telecommunication firms with ties to Beijing.

Esper, in a speech Thursday at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency summit in Maryland, said “every Chinese company has the potential to be an accomplice in Beijing’s state-sponsored campaign to steal technology.” His remarks came amid a standoff between Washington and Beijing in which the Chinese telecom Huawei has become the subject of geopolitical scrutiny while it also lobbies nations around the world to help build 5G wireless networks.

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