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Smoking Gun? Newly Leaked Records Indicate Huawei Closer To Chinese Military Intelligence

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Published on: July 6, 2019

Last December, after the arrest and extradition of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, it was speculated that the clock on the Clintons was running out.  Now, newly leaked records of Huawei employees appear to show that the company had “far closer links” to Chinese military-backed cyber agencies than were previously revealed.

Following that move, Trump’s Commerce Department officially added Huawei to their “Entity List”

The U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday it is adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” – a move that bans the telecom giant from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval.

U.S. officials told Reuters the decision would also make it difficult if not impossible for Huawei, the largest telecommunications equipment producer in the world, to sell some products because of its reliance on U.S. suppliers.

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Now, the National Post reports:

Analysis of CVs of Huawei employees appear to show “far closer links” between the telecommunications company and military-backed cyber agencies than previously thought, a think-tank claims.

The employment files suggest that some Huawei staff have also worked as agents within China’s Ministry of State Security; worked on joint projects with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA); were educated at China’s leading military academy; and have been employed by a military unit accused of a cyber attack on U.S. corporations.

Analysis of the CVs found 11 Huawei staff graduated from the PLA’s Information Engineering University, a military academy reputed to be China’s centre for “information warfare research”.

The claims will strengthen demands for the telecoms operator to be frozen out of a deal to build part of Britain’s new 5G mobile phone network. The Daily Telegraph disclosed in April that Theresa May had given the green light to Huawei to build parts of the network despite national security concerns. Huawei said it does not work on military projects for China’s regime.

That not all.

Forbes adds:

Huawei, understandably, responded to point out that almost all companies of its size in the telecoms sector will have former government employees on staff. In this case, that’s an entirely reasonable claim. But, because for Huawei alleged connections with the state are so contentious, such employee links in this instance will resonate differently.

Washington Post opinion piece, also this week, commented on the same issue, saying that “that Huawei maintains ties to the military in its home country isn’t unusual—it’s true for all telecommunications giants,” the problem is that Huawei has been “dishonest” about its links—”the existence of the ties are not as worrying as the lengths Huawei and Beijing go to keep them secret.”

According to the Henry Jackson Society researchers, the analysis of employee CVs—with as many as 25,000 uncovered by Fulbright University’s Christopher Balding—showed that Huawei staff had “worked as agents within China’s Ministry of State Security; worked on joint projects with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA); were educated at China’s leading military academy; and had been employed with a military unit linked to a cyber attack on U.S. corporations.”

John Hemmings, a director at the Henry Jackson Society, told me that “at the very early stages of analyzing this data trove, we are finding that these CVs show a pattern connecting Huawei employees to the military and Ministry of State Security. While one does find some former spooks in western telecoms, finding these connections in an authoritarian state is extremely different. Once again we see why Huawei‘s inclusion in Western 5G must be considered very carefully.”

A number of the CVs, highlighted in the report, are relevant because of the specific areas of government and defense referenced. Anything linked to cybersecurity, countermeasures, intelligence collection or even more general national security will clearly resonate given the context. For the researchers and the likely analysis that follows this exposure, this will be even more of an issue where former government work is similar in nature to the individual’s current work with the Shenzhen manufacturer.

One example given is for a current employee whose previous posting was with the National Information Security Engineering Centre, which Reuters has linked to the PLA’s Unit 61398—”the unit has been accused of being at the heart of China’s alleged cyber-war against Western commercial targets.”

Considering the Communist nature of China, one would think this would be a  no-brainer when it comes to the issue of national security, and rightfully so.

However, a Huawei spokesperson stated “this information is not new and is not secret, being freely available on LinkedIn and other career web sites. It is also not unusual that Huawei, in common with other tech companies around the world, employs people who have come from public service and worked in government. We are far more competitive thanks to our colleagues’ previous experiences. We are proud of their backgrounds and we are open about them.”

Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge also pointed out:

Yet in spite of the growing mountain of documented evidence, the company line has remained, “Huawei does not have any R&D collaboration or partnerships with the PLA-affiliated institutions,” as stated by Huawei spokesman Glenn Schloss less than two weeks ago. “Huawei only develops and produces communications products that conform to civil standards worldwide, and does not customize R&D products for the military,” he added, as cited in Bloomberg.

Huawei’s defense following that prior report was to say the joint research publications were “not authorized” — but the newest revelation places cooperation with the PLA even closer, per a new bombshell report:

According to the study, the employment files suggest that some Huawei staff have also worked as agents within China’s Ministry of State Security; worked on joint projects with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA); were educated at China’s leading military academy; and had been employed with a military unit linked to a cyber attack on US corporations.”

Analysts are calling it confirmation of a “systemized, structural relationship” between the PLA, Chinese intelligence, and Huawei.

“Huawei executives,” reported the New York Times, “have long expressed frustration over American officials’ clamping down on the company without presenting evidence that Beijing could use Huawei products for espionage, as Washington has claimed for years.”

One has to consider the ideology of the country that this is all coming from when hearing the rhetoric and considering that China’s Communist government is anti-American, one can readily glean that this information is indeed a bombshell.

 

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