Apparently, the federal government wants to ban the use of components from the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE in the expansion of the 5G mobile network. According to numerous research, the companies maintain close ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Should Germany implement the ban, that would be great news.
In Germany, too, people are apparently realizing that projects involving Chinese companies often have a catch. One criticism of Huawei is that the government in Beijing could siphon off important data via components in the 5G networks. According to IT experts, this has already happened at the African Union headquarters. Huawei apparently also had access to mobile data in the Netherlands. The company denies the allegations. The federal government also said for a long time that there was no evidence of backdoors or loopholes for eavesdropping.
But now the Federal Ministry of the Interior publicly expressed concern that the technology could be exploited. For example, the companies could refuse to supply parts needed for maintenance on instructions from Beijing. It's even very likely. China has already used economic power as leverage in many countries. The experience with Russia should also be a lesson in terms of dependency.
But a ban would not be enough. According to estimates, around 60 percent of the parts installed in the German mobile network already come from Huawei. Germany approved their use in 2021, they are also in the widespread 4G technology.
Germany needs a plan for replacing these devices to protect its critical infrastructure. The same should happen with the Chinese-made Hikvision cameras that hang in many public places in Germany. They are also known to be used to monitor Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
In any case, the strategic dependence on China should be reduced on many levels in order to defend Germany's values. The decision against Huawei in the 5G network would be a good start.