Merkel won't lock Huawei out of 5G
Chancellor Angela Merkel said security standards for Germany's ultra-fast 5G technology should be set higher than for previous generations, but reinforced her view that individual vendors such as China's Huawei should not be banned "from the very start".
"I tend to trust ourselves to define high security standards, higher than with 4G, 3G and 2G, but not to shut out vendors from the beginning," Merkel said in a speech to a business lobby.
Ms Merkel, who has struggled to balance open trade relations with China with concerns over security, has come under pressure from her own intelligence service and within her own party to block Huawei as Germany rolls out 5G.
Security hawks have warned about Huawei's ties to the Chinese government and the risk of espionage and sabotage.
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Without identifying Huawei, Ms Merkel said banishing individual companies across the board would "isolate ourselves from entire areas" and run counter to Germany's role as a champion for open trade.
"We have always stood for fair and free competition, and also fact-based competition, and not simply qualified it based on differing political systems," she said.