Turkey’s growing reliance on Huawei and other Chinese companies could complicate U.S. military cooperation with the major NATO ally, according to Mike Pompeo.
“They make it more difficult,” the Secretary of State told the Washington Examiner. “The fact that you have a significant amount of data in Turkey now, in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, means that we have to be ever more careful”.
Huawei and ZTE have emerged as telecommunications heavyweights in Turkey in recent years, even as Pompeo has warned other NATO allies that such partnerships could force American troops to withdraw rather than risk exposure to companies linked to Beijing’s spy agencies.
Their expansion in Turkey has added a cybersecurity irritant to military ties strained already by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy disputes with Washington.
“We have to make sure that our networks are secure — that is, our defense networks, our security networks,” Pompeo said. “It’s not only military and security networks that will be impacted by increasing activity inside of Turkey or any other country from Chinese networks. We’re gonna make sure and protect American data”.
Read more: Washington Examiner