The United States and Poland provide signatures to a joint declaration Monday that says companies supplying 5G equipment should be carefully evaluated to determine the extent of government control over their operations. The agreement between the two nations comes at a time when the United States is putting pressure on its allies to not allow China to be a part of 5G networks.
Huawei Technologies Co, a Chinese Telecomm giant, has denied America’s accusations that it has used equipment to facilitate the operations of Chinese intelligence agencies. The squabble also comes at a time when America and China are fighting an intense trade war against each other.
Huawei has a strong business presence in Poland and has used the country’s biggest soccer star in their advertisements there. The Trump administration is strong allies with Poland and seems intent on using this relationship to push the company away.
The agreement signed by Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawieck declares that countries have a responsibility to make sure only suppliers that can be trusted become a part of networks. The declaration identifies factors like the extent of government control, corporate practices, and transparent ownership as things that can be used to assess a company’s trustworthiness.
The relationship between Huawei and Poland have been strained since January when a native security official and a Huawei employee from China were arrested on allegations of spying.
Polish President Andrzej Duda appeared at a news conference with Pence and said that Polish security has uncovered actions that suggest espionage in the case. He says that all the necessary resources needed to determine the extent of the crimes will be used.
Mike Pence says he and the Polish president discussed issues regarding judicial independence. However, Pence did not say he offered instruction or advice to Duda.
Duda comes from the Law and Justice Party that is currently in power in Poland. The party has been criticized by the European Commission and rights groups for a series of moves that are seen to give the government an inordinate amount of power over the judicial system in Poland.
Pence said he appreciates the commitment Duda has expressed to him regarding his willingness to strengthen the rule of law in Poland.
Pence also mentioned it a a ‘matter of weeks’ before Poland may be allowed to become a part of America’s visa waiver program.