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China’s technology challenge is greater than just Huawei, British spymaster says

LONDON (Reuters) – The West must understand that the challenge of China’s technological revolution goes much deeper than that of Huawei in the row with the United States about intellectual property theft and espionage, one of England’s top spies said.

FILE PHOTO: People sit on the computers in the 24-hour operational Room within GCHQ, Cheltenham in Cheltenham, 17 November 2015. REUTERS/Ben Birchall/Pool/File Photo

Huawei, the world’s largest producer of telecommunications equipment, including intensive monitoring, after the United States, said the allies not to make use of the technology, because fear can be a vehicle for Chinese spying operations.

Jeremy Fleming, head of the british Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), said the incredible speed of technological change was the release of unprecedented uncertainty, instability and risk.

“The strategic challenge of China’s place in the era of globalization of technology is much bigger than just a telecommunications-equipment company,” Fleming, a british top three spies, said in Singapore.

“It is a first-order strategic challenge for all of us,” he said. “We have to understand the opportunities and threats of China’s technological offer.”

GCHQ is Britain’s main eavesdropping agency and has a close relationship with the AMERICAN National Security Agency and eavesdropping agencies of Australia, Canada and New Zealand in a consortium called “Five Eyes”.

In what some have likened to the Cold War and arms race, the United States is afraid that 5G dominant position would give a global competitor, such as China an advantage, Washington is not ready to accept.

5G, which offer much faster data speeds and be the first stone of many sectors and networks, is a revolutionary technology, Fleming said.

“5G is one of the most important and influential technologies of this or any era,” he said, adding that he wanted to be a diverse supplier of the market.

“A market consolidated in such a way that only a small number of possible options will not make for a good cyber security. That is regardless of whether these options are Western, Chinese, or from somewhere else,” Fleming said.

Huawei Chairman Guo Ping on Sunday reiterated his company’s position that it has never and would never allow a country to spy on you through her equipment.

Guo said that the United States doesn’t represent the whole world and called for equipment manufacturers, network operators and governments to work together to develop reliable standards for managing cyber security risks.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by William Maclean

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