South Africa won’t give in to US pressure to stop using Huawei

South Africa won’t succumb to pressure from the US to stop using Huawei Technologies Co. equipment on its networks, the nation’s ambassador to the five-nation BRICS bloc said.

Countries are facing increasing pressure from the US to take a harder stance on China as conflicts over Taiwan and battles for dominance in technologies from artificial intelligence to chips and quantum computing escalate.

The tensions have raised concerns around the world about the Asian nation using Huawei in core telecommunications networks to spy or sabotage systems.

“There was tremendous pressure on us from the US to stop using the Huawei network,” Anil Sooklal said in a lecture at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

“It is banned in the US, and a major part of Europe has banned Chinese technology.”

South Africa has a close relationship with China, its largest trading parter and will host it together with other BRICS members Brazil, Russia and India at a summit on Aug. 22-24.

The bloc is expected to make a pronouncement on the enlargement of the group at the summit.

The announcement will mark a significant change in the global order, Sooklal said, even as some of its members push back against new admissions.

China favours a rapid expansion, but India and Brazil want guidelines to be framed first.

For its part, Huawei has offered South Africa thousands of training and technology transfer opportunities over the years, Sooklal said.

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South Africa won’t give in to US pressure to stop using Huawei