The Trump administration is threatening to withhold intelligence from Germany if the country does not drop a potential contract with Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei.
The Wall Street Journal obtained a letter dated Friday from U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell to Germany's economics minister saying that intelligence sharing would be limited if Huawei or other Chinese vendors are allowed to participate in building Germany's 5G network.
The U.S. has been urging allies to drop Huawei for months. Intelligence officials have expressed concerns that the telecommunications giant is spying on behalf of the Chinese government.
The push comes as many countries begin adopting the next-generation wireless technology known as 5G. With people becoming increasingly dependent on the internet, U.S. officials are increasingly sounding the alarm over the potential for Chinese spying.
According to the Journal, Germany says it has seen no evidence that Huawei had or could use its equipment to spy on its users and that it should be allowed to bid for the country’s 5G network if it meets security criteria.
Patrick Berger, spokesman for Huawei in Germany, declined to comment to the Journal on the U.S. letter but said the company welcomes new security requirements put forth by the Germany's telecom regulator.
Grenell reportedly suggested that Swedish Ericsson Communications, Finnish Nokia or South Korean Samsung could handle building Germany's 5G network.
The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.