Blackburn says China building 'spy network' through Huawei technology

Blackburn says China building 'spy network' through Huawei technology
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition Progressive freshmen jump into leadership PAC fundraising On The Money: US paid record .1B in tariffs in September | Dems ramp up oversight of 'opportunity zones' | Judge hints at letting House lawsuit over Trump tax returns proceed MORE (R-Tenn.) on Sunday accused China of building a “spy network” through the use of telecommunications group Huawei around the world and said it would be dangerous to allow Huawei access to U.S. fifth generation (5G) wireless networks. 

“We do not need to let Huawei get into building out these 5G networks, not for us and not for any of our allies because of the dangers there,” Blackburn said while appearing on Fox News’s "Sunday Morning Futures."  

ADVERTISEMENT

She added, “China is building a spy network, they want to win the cyber war, and what we have to do is continue to say to them, you cannot empower Huawei, which is state-run, regardless of what they say, we know it is state-run, and it is their mechanism for spying.” 

Huawei has been in the spotlight over the past few months after the Commerce Department added the company to its “entity list” in May, citing national security concerns. U.S. companies are banned from doing business with companies included on that list.

The agency put in place a 90-day extension before Huawei is formally added to the list to allow American companies time to adjust. 

However, that move was thrown into question last week following President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem senator says Zelensky was 'feeling the pressure' to probe Bidens 2020 Dems slam Trump decision on West Bank settlements Trump calls latest impeachment hearings 'a great day for Republicans' MORE’s announcement at the Group of 20 summit in Japan that he would allow U.S. companies to sell equipment to Huawei. Trump added that "we're talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.”

This announcement sparked a wave of bipartisan pushback, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMcConnell hopes Senate impeachment trial 'not too lengthy a process' Hillicon Valley: Progressives oppose funding bill over surveillance authority | Senators call for 5G security coordinator | Facebook gets questions over location tracking | Louisiana hit by ransomware attack Prisons chief: FBI investigating whether 'criminal enterprise' played role in Epstein death MORE (R-S.C.) saying that “there will be a lot of pushback” from both sides of the aisle if Huawei is used as a concession in trade talks. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters Senators voice support for Iran protesters but stop short of taking action McConnell urges Trump to voice support for Hong Kong protesters MORE (R-Fla.) vowed to introduce legislation to keep Huawei on the entity list if Trump removes it, while Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis Schumer2020 Republicans accuse Schumer of snubbing legislation Schumer: Leadership trying to work out competing surprise medical bill measures Top GOP senator: Drug pricing action unlikely before end of year MORE (D-N.Y.) said Trump’s move in favor of Huawei could “dramatically undercut our ability to change China’s unfair trade practices.”

Blackburn on Sunday added to this chorus, saying American companies that continue to sell to Huawei “need to stop that.”

“Huawei is building out a network that is embedded with spyware, and it doesn’t matter if it is financial data, if it is artificial intelligence or autonomous vehicle networks, why would you give them the ability to shut down those networks?" Blackburn said. "So no, let's eliminate them from our networks."