Perry Wooed China Firm Despite Security Flags

Monday, 15 Aug 2011 10:52 AM

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Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry welcomed a Chinese telecommunication firm to Texas despite security concerns. National security experts in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations had concluded that the firm posed a cyber-security risk to U.S. military and businesses, The Washington Post reported.

Nonetheless, as governor of Texas, Perry wooed Huawei Technologies for months, traveling to China and dining with the CEO of the firm. The company eventually decided to base its U.S. operations in Plano, Texas. Perry lauded the company’s “really strong worldwide reputation” and said its chairman, Ren Zhengfei, reminded him fondly of West Texans, the Post reported.

A U.S. government security panel had blocked Huawei from acquiring or partnering with U.S. companies three times since 2008 over concerns that secrets could be leaked to China’s government or military. Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner told the Post that, “if there are national security issues surrounding this company, they should be fully looked at.”

Perry’s relationship with Huawei “raises questions he’s going to have to answer in this race,” Michael Wessel, a member of a bipartisan congressional advisory panel that unanimously agreed that Huawei posed a cyber-security risk to the United States, told the Post. “Was he willing to put short-term economic interests ahead of broad national security concerns?”

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