- Taiwan digital minister warns of China’s 5G ‘Trojan horse’
“There’s no such thing as pure private companies in China. From the
perspective of the PRC, the ruling party can change your leader whenever the
situation is intense,” Audrey Tang, a hacker-turned-cabinet member, said in
an interview in her office at the Executive Yuan in Taipei.
“If you include them [China-linked companies] in the infrastructure then you
have to be very careful every time you update the system, as that could make
the network vulnerable to allowing a Trojan horse inside the system.”
Tang, 39, said the people of Taiwan, a democratically governed island that
China sees as part of its territory, saw the risks of using equipment made by
the likes of Huawei and ZTE six years ago, when these tech giants were little
known outside China.
“While the world is talking about whether or not to include China-linked
companies in 5G infrastructure, we already did that in the 4G era,” Tang said.
In 2014, the Beijing-friendly administration of former President Ma Ying-jeou
had to contend with the biggest demonstrations in Taiwan in decades, when
activists occupied the country’s legislature for nearly a month. Tang helped set
up a live-broadcasting system for protesters who demanded that the
government withdraw a draft bill on a services trade agreement with China.