U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated calls on European countries to stay away from Chinese telecommunication companies in building their 5G networks, citing security risks.
Pompeo made the case in an op-ed in Politico Europe ahead of a European Union communications ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.
The top U.S. diplomat urged leaders to "put security first" when it comes to the construction of 5G networks, arguing that Chinese tech giants such as Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted as the Chinese Communist Party could use the technology to "steal private or proprietary information."
Pompeo then wrote that "European companies like Ericsson and Nokia produce high-quality, price-competitive 5G equipment, as does the South Korean company Samsung."
He added these firms are "legitimate" commercial actors that compete fairly and are headquartered in democracies that abide by the rule of law and are thus accountable for their actions.
The U.S. has urged its allies and partner nations to stop the use of products made by Chinese telecom companies, citing security risks to their 5G wireless networks.