By Vakkas Dogantekin
ANKARA (AA) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday warned European officials against working with Chinese telecom company Huawei to protect "Western democracy".
Speaking during an event as one of the guest speakers on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference in Germany, Pelosi said Huawei poses the most "insidious form of aggression" against both American and European values.
Her anti-Huawei remarks come only a day after the U.S. Department of Justice has charged the Chinese 5G provider Huawei and four of its subsidiaries with racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
U.S. officials first charged Huawei in January 2019 and company's CFO Wanzhou Meng was arrested weeks after upon the request of U.S. administration by authorities in Canada, where she is still fighting her extradition to the U.S.
Pelosi, after calling herself a "very religious person", made an analogy to explain her argument against Huawei.
She likened "free flow of internet" and "information highways" to real roads and highways built by Romans to enable Catholicism in the past.
She said Catholicism was spread thanks to missionaries and saints who used those highways and now, by staying away from Huawei, the West would have the chance to "promote democracy" through those information highways.
– Tough question from audience
A Chinese national in the audience asked Pelosi why Huawei poses a threat to Western system at a time when China has for decades welcomed American high-tech companies like Microsoft, IBM and Amazon, yet, neither the nation nor the Communist Party ever felt threatened by their presence.
"Is Western democracy and system so fragile?" she asked, getting an applaud from mostly European attendees of the conference.
Pelosi nervously said she has been "tracking China for decades" and it is to the "collateral benefit" of Europe and U.S. to exclude Huawei from their networks.
"Don't go near Huawei," she added, with her style reminiscent of her avowed enemy Donald Trump, the Republican U.S. president.
Most European countries, which are traditional Trans-Atlantic allies of the U.S., have already announced that they have no intention to part ways with Huawei despite extensive lobbying by U.S. officials.