Philippine military boss says China telecoms spy risk ‘very low’

In this news, we discuss the Philippine military boss says China telecoms spy risk ‘very low’.

The head of the Philippine armed forces on Tuesday assured that a telecommunications company partly owned by a Chinese state-owned company posed no threat to national security, and said the equipment it would install in the Army camps would be closely guarded.

General Gilbert Gapay said having the communication kit on the bases would allow the military to easily access it and inspect it to make sure it was compliant. “We don’t see any security risk, it’s very low,” Gapay told foreign correspondents in an online forum. Some lawmakers have warned that the equipment could be used to spy on an army that is closely allied with the United States.

The Philippine government last month authorized DITO Telecommunity Corp, a joint venture between China Telecom and a tycoon close to President Rodrigo Duterte, to erect towers on military land for its $ 5.15 billion market entry, which includes 5G technology. “One of the advantages of having this installation by DITO inside the camps is that we could monitor them closely,” Gapay said. “We could inspect them at any time.”

He said the two largest telecommunications companies in the Philippines, Globe and PLDT, also have communication kits in military camps that also use Chinese technology. DITO wants to use 22 soldiers sites, but Gapay said these were still under negotiation and would be assessed “one by one”.

“We assure the armed forces and our people that our communication system will be secure,” Gapay said. The China Telecom company in the Philippines follows Duterte’s repeated promises to provide China with a place in the local market to improve the quality of service. Uy’s company claims to have won a license fairly in an open tender.

Former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio, a staunch critic of Duterte’s pro-China stance, warned that China “will surely want to listen” to military communications. Last month, DITO leaders called espionage concerns “really out of place.”

News Highlights:

  • The head of the Philippine armed forces on Tuesday assured that a telecommunications company partly owned by a Chinese state-owned company posed no threat to national security, and said the equipment it would install in the Army camps would be closely guarded. General Gilbert Gapay said having the communication kit on the bases would allow the military to easily access it and inspect it to make sure it was compliant.
  • Filipino military chief says risk of China’s telecommunications espionage ‘very low’
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