Citing ‘Security Concerns,’ U.S. Agencies Demand Cutting Off China Telecom from Serving U.S. Market
April 10, 2020 (EIRNS)—Leading U.S. government departments, comprising the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, State, Commerce, and the United States Trade Representative, along with the Executive Branch (filed on its behalf by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NTIA), filed a recommendation yesterday that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should revoke and terminate all authorizations for the China Telecom’s U.S. subsidiary to provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States. The recommendation has to be decided upon by the FCC. The agencies explained that China Telecom is vulnerable to “exploitation, influence and control” by the Chinese government, the Justice Department press release stated. Earlier, the U.S. also banned Huawei from supplying U.S. government systems over security concerns.
“The Executive Branch agencies identified substantial and unacceptable national security and law enforcement risks associated with China Telecom’s operations, which render the FCC authorizations inconsistent with the public interest,” the Justice Department statement said.
If approved, the move could mean the hundreds of millions of phone and Internet customers of China Telecom, the country’s second-largest mobile phone operator, could lose connectivity with or through the United States, Agence France-Presse reported.