Chancellor Schroeder outraged by the American threat: "extortion blackmail"

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In the case of Huawei, the US ambassador Grenell would have threatened Germany to restrict the exchange of intelligence information. Old Chancellor Schröder is outraged, China shocked.

Former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has criticized the American threat to hide intelligence information if Berlin involves Chinese companies in creating the 5G fast mobile network. "This is a blatant blackmail," the SPD politician told a "Handelsblatt" event in Berlin. Washington's threat means: "Because you haven't been stopped, we won't tell you." For purely economic reasons, the US government expects Germany to join them.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, US Ambassador Richard Grenell stated in a letter to Economy Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) that the exchange of intelligence and other data could no longer be at its current level if the Chinese group Huawei or others Chinese suppliers would be involved in the creation of the 5G network in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel then stated that the government wants to be in agreement with the expansion of the fast 5G mobile network with its partners. Safety is central in the 5G expansion.

Escalation in the dispute: Huawei complains about the restrictions imposed by the United States on the company's activities, the United States in turn suspects the cliques in China. (Source: Reuters)

The Chinese telecommunications giant, Huawei, is accused by the United States of being able to spy or sabotage its telecommunications products. The evidence for this is not yet available.

No "Russia bashing"

In China, the Global Times newspaper newspaper described the US ambassador's letter on Wednesday as "selfish" and "bully". Europe must have the courage to distance itself from the United States while building relations with China and Russia. "The world is changing, and that is how the European strategy should change," the newspaper continues. Germany would benefit from Huawei because the Chinese group would make building a 5G network cheaper and faster.

Schröder said that if he were currently chancellor, he would argue that "Europe gets a relative independence from US foreign and economic policy". You have other interests related to China. "We also have other interests related to Russia," said Schröder, who is also the chairman of the supervisory board of Nord Stream, the operator of the German-Russian Baltic Sea pipeline of the same name. Russia is important as a market for Germany. But it was also necessary in foreign policy to maintain proximity to Moscow. "We cannot join Russia, as Americans are expected".

Germany can only compete with the major US and Chinese economic powers if it pulls the European map and assumes leadership in Europe, said Schröder. Every European country is a dwarf in terms of economic power compared to the United States and emerging China. "And the dwarves don't always treat you kindly, but you put them in the garden."

The President of the German Industry Federation (BDI), Dieter Kempf, made similar comments. He told the "Passauer Neue Presse" (Wednesday) that Germany could only overtake China and the United States in the future, in conjunction with a strong and united Europe. It is essential that Europe speaks with one voice: "If we become small or split up, we will always remain small compared to the United States and China." With China "Germany is in a system competition". He considers "a partnership based on facts with the state to be resilient".

New strategy

In response to China's political and economic aspirations, the European Commission has presented a ten-point plan to strengthen European interests. In particular, the Brussels authority proposes, for example, that public procurement should be more closely related to labor and environmental standards. In order to guarantee safety in the development of the rapid 5G mobile network, the Commission intends to propose a common EU approach shortly. It should go mainly to deal with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Ideally, the new strategic concept of the European Commission should be approved by the end of next week at the summit of heads of state and government in Brussels. If the ten points are then all implemented, however, it is considered questionable.

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