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The Cabinet has not yet made a decision on whether or not to exclude the Chinese manufacturer Huawei from the construction of a 5G network in the Netherlands. That’s what Prime Minister Mark Rutte said at his weekly press conference, reports Tweakers.

Rutte said not to make any announcements about possible Chinese contributions to the construction of the 5G network. The ball is in the government’s court, and the House of Representatives has its own position when it comes to that question. However, the cabinet is “not naive” in its attitude towards China, according to the Prime Minister.

Chinese spies

The question followed after it became known last week that a majority in the Lower House of Parliament wanted to exclude Huawei for the time being from the supply of equipment for the construction of the network in the Netherlands. That statement was a response to the news that Chinese spies had stolen trade secrets from the Dutch chip machine maker ASML.

“Until we’re sure it’s safe, we shouldn’t do business with Huawei. With today’s knowledge, you don’t have to take any steps at all and conclude contracts,” said VVD Member of Parliament Arne Weverling at the time. According to GroenLinks MP Tom van der Lee, it is a “huge risk if you were to gain access to vital infrastructure via 5G networks”. “So: don’t do it with Huawei.”

There have been tensions around Huawei for some time now. The United States is afraid that the company will be used for espionage by the Chinese government. The country therefore banned the company’s equipment and lobbied for such a ban in Europe. In the Netherlands, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTV) and Security investigates whether the Chinese company can be sufficiently trusted.

Broad strategy

In May, the government will probably come up with a broader strategy on how the Netherlands should deal with the alleged espionage and economic relations with China. In addition, the government is awaiting the investigation of the NCTV. Rutte emphasises that, in his view, this strategy is independent of whether a Chinese party such as Huawei should be excluded from the construction of the 5G network.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.