(Bloomberg) — China’s government says it’s confident that Brazil will choose Huawei Technologies to build its ultra-fast fifth generation mobile network, a high-stakes decision that would likely put President Jair Bolsonaro on a collision course with the United States.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to meet his Brazilian counterpart in Brasilia this week — their second meeting in less than a month — during a summit of the BRICS group which also includes Russia, India and South Africa.
“I am confident in terms of the cooperation between China and Brazil over 5G technology,” China’s Ambassador to Brasilia Yang Wanming said in reply to emailed questions. Brazil “will take into account its own development interest” when it analyzes Huawei’s bid, he added.
Yang said that Brazil’s attitude toward Huawei has remained objective and rational amid a campaign of “bad faith and defamation” from the U.S.
U.S. officials have warned their allies against relying on Huawei components in their 5G networks, saying this would facilitate spying by Beijing. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated the warnings in a speech in Germany on Friday, saying the company can’t be fully trusted since it is under the thumb of China’s ruling communist party, a claim that both Huawei and the Chinese government deny.