Chinese experts slammed a recent US media report that claimed Huawei’s telecommunication hardware used by US rural wireless carriers poses threats to its nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), calling the accusation “totally absurd.”
Citing US experts, CNN reported on Tuesday that China could “interfere with ICBM command and control,” by taking control of rural US cell phone towers that use Huawei technologies.
The CNN report noted some of the cell towers using Huawei gear in Montana are located close to a missile silo equipped with more than 100 Minuteman III ICBMs, which are capable of delivering nuclear warheads to targets 10,000 kilometers away.
Huawei’s radio transmitters and receivers on the towers could be weaponized against the missiles and become a new strategic capability for China, the CNN report quoted US experts as saying.
“It is ridiculous to think Chinese technology could penetrate the physical barriers of a nuclear weapon facility which has been purpose-built to be isolated from the outside,” Xiang Ligang, a Chinese telecoms industry analyst, told the Global Times.
Besides, every telecommunication device has a different frequency, so accusing a Chinese company of launching a potential attack against a nuclear facility via some nearby communication stations (without evidence related to frequencies) is groundless, Xiang said, noting that the US wireless carriers will be in full control of the operation of these devices.
While admitting the US missile systems are not likely to be penetrated by Huawei’s devices, the CNN report quoted expert James Lewis as saying “that doesn’t mean our opponents won’t try and figure out if they can do it.”
“I have no evidence [the Chinese] are doing it. But the potential, the opportunity, wow,” CNN quoted a former senior Pentagon information security official as saying.
Xiang slammed these remarks by saying they are the “latest version of the ‘China threat theory.'”