The US has discussed with India the "risks" posed by Chinese-made communication networks, including 5G, pose to the treasured freedoms, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, amidst the Trump administration stepped up its pressure against Chinese telecom giants.
President Donald Trump has asked American firms to stop doing business with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, alleging that it was a tool of Chinese intelligence.
Pompeo told reporters at a joint press conference with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper that the 5G issue was discussed during the second edition of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US here on Wednesday.
"And on China, we discussed the risks that Chinese-built communication networks, including 5G, pose to our treasured freedoms and how China's unfair and predatory economic activity in the Indo-Pacific presents a risk to those very freedoms," Pompeo said.
Asserting that 5G networks will form the backbone of future economies and critical infrastructure, US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus earlier this month said the stakes are too high to allow these vital networks to be provided and serviced by vendors open to manipulation by authoritarian regimes.
"Chinese telecommunications firms such as Huawei and ZTE must comply with the directives of the government of the People's Republic of China, without any meaningful checks and balances that would prevent misuse of data," Ortagus said.
"The United States urges all countries, including our partners and allies, to adopt national security policies that would prevent untrusted vendors from accessing any part of their future 5G networks," Ortagus had said.
5G is the next generation cellular technology with download speeds stated to be 10 to 100 times faster than the current 4G LTE networks.
The 5G networking standard is seen as critical because it can support the next generation of mobile devices in addition to new applications like driverless cars.