5G impasse? Why US officials are piling pressure on European allies to drop Huawei

A Huawei company logo is seen at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China

Several European countries are caught between a rock and a hard place as the Trump administration mounts added pressure for key allies to ban Chinese telecoms firm Huawei from supplying next-generation mobile networks.

The diplomatic push, which will see more US officials visiting Europe to press the case this week, is seemingly losing traction, however, after Britain decided to allow Huawei as a potential supplier.

Germany, another close ally to the United States, is leaning toward a similar outlook.

The diplomatic mission, that starts in London, is a huge gamble for the Trump administration as it increasingly meets resistance to the ‘anti-Huawei agenda’. With Europe now dragged in the middle, the US’ battle with China over economic and technological supremacy is surely heating up.

It’s a tough ask either way for Germany, one of Europe’s biggest American allies—if it follows through and defies Washington, a decades-old alliance hangs in the balance.

US officials have threatened to cut off intelligence sharing with any country that uses Huawei gear, which the Trump administration fears could pose a major security risk.

On the other hand, rejecting Huawei could have wider repercussions, especially for Germany’s relationship with China, one of its biggest trading partners.

Repeating a position it has held firm for more than a year, the US is campaigning against Huawei over fears that China’s communist leaders can use the company to tap into communications running through the networking equipment it sells globally.