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Chinese telecom firms 'unacceptable security risk' for India: RSS affiliate

Swadeshi Jagran Manch wants telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies to be kept out of India's 5G plans.

Reuters  |  New Delhi 

Huawei
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A group affiliated to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is considered close to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, has stepped up criticism of Chinese telecom equipment makers, warning that their presence in India posed "an unacceptable security risk".

The RSS's economic wing has been campaigning to keep Chinese telecom equipment maker Technologies out of India's plans to install the next-generation 5G cellular network.

But now it is extending the campaign to other Chinese telecom equipment makers.

"India must recognise the full extent of the national and economic security threat posed by foreign and especially Chinese equipment in India's ICT (information and communication technology) networks," said Ashwani Mahajan, who heads economic wing of the RSS, known as Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), in a statement on Sunday.

"China today controls a significant section of India's telecom networks even though information dominance is at the core of China's military strategy, posing an unacceptable security risk," Mahajan said.

is at the centre of a tug-of-war between China and the United States. US President Donald Trump's administration put the company on a blacklist in May, citing national security concerns.

The RSS's economic wing has had significant influence on Indian government investment policy in the past year, especially in getting new regulations in place to protect small traders from US owned e-commerce companies Amazon.com Inc and Walmart's Flipkart.

China is India's second biggest trading partner. Chinese products - from mobile phones made by companies such as Xiaomi Corp to televisions and air conditioners - are ubiquitous in India.

In October, Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, where the two are expected to address trade issues including India's concerns about its $53 billion trade deficit with China in the year to March 2019.

Mahajan said earlier this month that India was unlikely to sign a China-backed Asia-Pacific trade pact because of opposition from industry and farmers, in a blow to prospects for creating a giant free trade zone.

First Published: Sun, August 18 2019. 19:15 IST
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