Candice Lanier – The CIA-based Open Source Center (OSC) has uncovered a disturbing link between China’s largest telecommunications company, Huawei, and Beijing’s intelligence service. The high-tech giant is located in China’s Guangdong Province and has reportedly received nearly a quarter of a billion dollars from the Chinese government.
Though the US government continues to view Huawei as a risk and has already blocked the company from converging into the US market, three times, this has not stopped Huawei’s lobbying efforts.
In addition to the link to Chinese intel, Huawei may also be cooperating with the Chinese military. The OSC also reports that Huawei has been active in a global campaign of large proportions to acquire classified and economic intelligence from government and private-sector computer networks.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that China views the US as its primary strategic enemy. According to The Washington Times, Michelle K. Van Cleave, former national counterintelligence executive and senior counterspy policymaker has said that China is now engaged in the process of increased expansion of intelligence operations in the US. As an example, Kenneth deGraffenreid, former deputy national counterintelligence director compares China’s efforts with those used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
Huawei has stated in the past that they receive little to no funding from the government, but the OSC maintains that Huawei Technologies, has a history of formal and informal contacts with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Ministry of State Security (MSS).
What’s more, this is not unprecedented behavior for Huawei as In 2009, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) discovered a link between one of Huawei’s Australian-based subsidiaries and Chinese intelligence operations. Then, in a cautionary move, the Indian government barred the company from operating in India, in view of what it described as Huawei’s “strong links with the Chinese military.” IntelNews.Org reports that In August of 2010, several US senators initiated an investigation into a proposed partnership between Huawei and Sprint-Nextel.
Huawei already has locations in the US, the headquarters office originating in Plano, Texas. Huawei offices can also be found in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Santa Clara, CA, Walnut Creek, CA, San Antonio and New Jersey.
But, there’s more…The Washington Times describes a situation in which Huawei Vice President Tang Xinbing, in June of 2009, was quoted in a cable as saying a deal to buy the U.S. telecommunications company 3Com in 2008 was rescinded due to the expectation that the Treasury Department-led Committee on Foreign Investment in the US would block the sale.
This led Huawei to increase the execution of its lobbying activities in Washington, which effectively represented an attempt to disband what Mr. Tang described as the mistaken impression that Huawei is owned by the Chinese military.
In September of 2009, a cable disclosure quotes Chinese Vice Minister of Finance, Zhu Guangyao, as saying that the blocking of the Huawei-3Com merger “roiled” Chinese leaders.
Huawei’s alleged ties to the Chinese government and the accompanying deliberate spread of misinformation in trying to dispel this denunciation is a situation fraught with almost unlimited potential for damage to US interests and national security.