US defence chief Esper warns of Huawei 'threat' to NATO

Munich, (AFP): US Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned Saturday that Huawei was a threat to NATO, urging European allies to shut the Chinese tech giant out of their new 5G telecoms networks.

"If we don't understand the threat and we don't do something about it, at the end of the day it could compromise what is the most successful military alliance in history -- NATO," Esper told the Munich Security Conference.

Washington has blacklisted Huawei over security concerns about its links to the Chinese government. 

While Beijing and its increasingly sophisticated and far-flung military sit atop U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper's list of international security worries, Europe bigger concern is closer to home and that is Moscow.

Esper warned that Beijing has been moving further outside the international order as the world’s second largest economy pursues aggressive economic and military policies at the expense of other nations. “It is essential that we -– as an international community –- wake up to the challenges presented by China’s manipulation of the long-standing international, rules-based order,” said Esper.

US and China have been locked in a trade war during the administration of President Donald Trump and are competing for economic influence and military advantage in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Analysts believed that the Coronavirus outbreak in China if not quickly contained will affect the second largest economy and global economies.

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