BUCHAREST -- Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban says Chinese tech giant Huawei “does not meet [security] conditions” to be part of building 5G networks in the country.
“With respect to 5G, [China] cannot be our partner,” Orban told RFE/RL’s Romanian Service in an interview published on November 1.
U.S. Ambassador to Romania Adrian Zuckerman has repeatedly warned about the security risks posed by Huawei as the United States presses its allies to block Huawei from wireless, high-speed networks, saying the company’s equipment could be used by China for spying purposes. The allegation has been denied by Huawei and Beijing.
“Huawei is the wrong choice,” Zuckerman wrote in an opinion piece sent to Romanian media on September 11. “Chinese communists despise freedom, rule of law, human rights, and the basic truth.”
U.S. President Donald Trump and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in August 2019 signed a memorandum in Washington stating that vetting a company to build 5G networks must include “whether it is under the control of another state.”
Orban, who is the leader of the center-right National Liberal Party (PNL), told RFE/RL that legislation will respect the memorandum with the United States.
"We’ll choose a company that poses no threat to national security or other areas,” he said.
The Romanian parliament is expected to pass legislation after general elections on December 6. A public tender for the construction of 5G networks is to be held in 2021.