Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Hungary slams US warnings about using Chinese tech giant Huawei's products

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban has made Hungarian leader Viktor Orban has made"zero tolerance for immigration a main theme of his premiership
Deanna Wagner | 13 February, 2019, 19:18

"And then they will get to make their decisions".

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo came close to issuing an us-or-them ultimatum to nations buying from Huawei Technology Co., saying in Hungary that contracts with the Chinese networking giant could limit the availability of USA equipment.

The comments come as the U.S. is stepping up its efforts against Huawei worldwide, believing the Chinese company is uncomfortably close with its nation's ruling party and its status as a network and telecoms equipment supplier is being used to help Beijing gather communications from its government clients around the world.

Other perks aimed at reversing Hungary's population decline include an $8,825 subsidy toward the purchase of a seven-seat vehicle for families with three or more children and a low-interest loan of $35,300 for women under 40 who marry for the first time.

In Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto welcomed Pompeo's calls for closer ties and promised more defense cooperation but also brushed off the criticism on relations with Russian Federation and China.

Last month, the country's director of sales at Huawei was arrested along with a senior Polish security official on charges of espionage.

It is also lobbying Washington for an increased military presence on its soil.

Pompeo heads later on Tuesday to Poland, where he is co-hosting a conference on the Middle East that will promote Trump's hard line on Iran and strong support for Israel.

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Gavin Williamson will warn in a speech that Britain must stand up to those who "flout global law". He told those gathered for his speech that "state-on-state competition was reviving".

Mr Szijjarto brushed off U.S. concerns over Russian Federation and China, saying Budapest was fulfilling its obligations to western allies as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday that China appreciated Szijjarto's "independent, fair and objective" comments, and that China-Hungary ties would not be damaged or interfered with by other countries.

He said: "When it comes to co-operation with Russian Federation or co-operation with the People's Republic of China that does not harm us being reliable as a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally".

As part of talks with Hungarian foreign minister Peter Szikkarto, Pompeo said he discussed the dangers of "allowing China to gain a bridgehead". "It has even made naked threats and provocations against China's relations with other countries, damaging the rights and interests of legitimate development and cooperation with Chinese companies", said spokesperson Hua Chunying.

"So numerous concerns that are voiced are things that have happened in the absence of America being engaged", he told reporters.

"This is the Hungarians' answer, not immigration", Orban said.

"Hungary's government and President Donald Trump's administration represent an identical, or very similar, approaches in both general political and numerous worldwide political issues", he said.