U.S. lawmaker warns Australia about using Huawei devices

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After cautioning American citizens from using products and services from Huawei, a U.S. lawmaker has also warned Australia of the alleged dangers that may arise from patronizing the Chinese tech company.

According to a report from The Australian Financial Review, U.S. Republican congressman Michael Conaway warned the Australian government that if the latter will allow Huawei to help build 5G wireless networks in the country, the Washington–Canberra security partnership may be strained. Conaway noted that Huawei, as well as fellow Chinese tech company ZTE, pose a "serious national security threat" not only to the U.S. but also to its allies like Australia.

"Because of the high level of intelligence sharing between Five Eyes countries, I have concerns that the presence of Huawei or ZTE in any of these countries could present a significant risk to our co-ordination, and ultimately, US national security as a result," Conaway explained.

Moreover, the report said that the lawmaker has also introduced a bill that blocks Huawei from winning government contracts in the U.S.

Meanwhile, ACS News noted that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has already been briefed by the U.S. National Security Organisation and Department of Homeland Security, going as far as rejecting Huawei's attempts at providing the necessary supply equipment in relation to building 5G networks.

Last month, CNN reported that top officials from the FBI, CIA, and the Defense Intelligence Agency testified at the Senate Intelligence Committee, warning the public that purchasing phones from Huawei and ZTE may put U.S. telecommunications infrastructure at risk. "It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, and it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage," FBI Director Chris Wray explained.

Interestingly, things are quite different in Great Britain where Huawei is gearing to expand its market. According to a FOX News report, the Chinese phone maker is looking to invest £3 billion or about US$4.2 billion in Great Britain over the next five years. The announcement came within days after Prime Minister Theresa May met with Huawei Chairwoman Sun Yafang in Beijing.