STRASBOURG: The European Parliament plans to add its voice to growing concerns in the Western world about alleged security threats posed by Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp.
The European Union assembly will stress the need for the bloc to protect the next generation of wireless networks, known as 5G, from intruders and to bolster cybersecurity defences in general, according to the draft of a resolution slated for a vote on Tuesday in Strasbourg, France.
In the draft, the 28-nation Parliament “expresses deep concern about the recent allegations that 5G equipment developed by Chinese companies may have embedded backdoors that would allow manufacturers and authorities to have unauthorised access to private and personal data and telecommunications from the EU.”
The assembly “is equally concerned about the potential presence of major vulnerabilities in the 5G equipment developed by these manufacturers if they were to be installed when rolling out 5G networks in the coming years,” according to the text.
The EU’s increasing alarm about technology-related security risks from China follows US allegations that Huawei could enable Chinese espionage and calls for European allies to avoid partnering with the company.
Western jitters have mushroomed since a 2017 Chinese law requiring organisations and citizens to support national-security investigations.
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The draft EU Parliament resolution, drawn up by four of the assembly’s main political groups including the No. 1 Christian Democrats and second-ranking Socialists, says European authorities should develop a certification system for 5G equipment to enhance its security.
“If there’s the slightest suspicion that Trojan horses end up in critical infrastructure due to Chinese technology, all alarm bells should ring,” Markus Ferber, a German member of the assembly’s Christian Democratic faction, said by email on Monday. “The EU has to make sure it becomes more independent from third countries when it comes to infrastructure and central technologies.”