U.S. Undersecretary of State Crunch: Mr. Xi Knocks Down China’s Firewall

Keith Krach, undersecretary of state for economic development, energy and the environment at the U.S. State Department, said Monday during a visit to Germany, next to the Reagan statue inside the U.S. Embassy in Berlin next to the Brandenburg Gate, that “to borrow President Reagan’s words, Mr. Xi is knocking down China’s firewall.”

In a video posted on Twitter, Klatsch said, “We are in Berlin. Over 30 years ago, President Reagan was here and said, ‘Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ The Berlin Wall is gone. But there’s a new digital wall – the Chinese firewall. The Chinese firewall separates the Chinese people from the free world, just as the Berlin Wall separates the German people from each other. To borrow the words of President Reagan, Mr. Xi knocked down the Chinese firewall.”

Klatsch’s visit to Europe was reportedly to urge European allies to ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei from participating in the construction of local 5G networks, warning that Huawei’s involvement would jeopardize NATO security. Krajc said Huawei is “an arm of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state and a tool for human rights violations,” and that the new technology is “the backbone of the surveillance state,” according to an online event organized by the German Marshall Fund.

Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations of security problems from Washington. Italy and Germany are reportedly discussing whether to allow Huawei to participate in the construction of their 5G networks after the UK and France imposed de facto bans on the company.