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The so-called Five Eyes nations are in “disarray” over how to treat Chinese telecommunications Huawei Technologies Co., according to Australia’s former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
The Trump administration has pressed allies like Canada and the U.K. to ban Huawei from new 5G telecom networks, who each share intelligence closely with the U.S. as part of the Five Eyes network that also includes Australia and New Zealand.
The latter two countries have already moved to restrict Huawei’s access to their markets.
“The Five Eyes are looking in some degree of disarray on the subject,” Rudd told BNN Bloomberg’s Amber Kanwar.
Rudd, who served as Australia’s prime minister from 2007 to 2010 and again in 2013, added that while intelligence matters must remain secret, the U.S. should better explain its security concerns regarding Huawei.
“There are two schools of thought out there on this in public opinion: This is a protectionist measure by the United States to prevent Huawei from dominating a 5G market where they’re already well in the lead. Or are the fundamental national security concerns here real and pervasive and therefore need to be addressed?” Rudd said.
“As I’ve said to my friends in Washington, if you’re going to prosecute a case on Huawei and 5G, you need to produce a public brief for the voting publics of the English-speaking democracies so that [they] can understand what the real reason for this action is.”