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Bulgaria, N. Macedonia, Kosovo sign 5G security agreements with U.S.



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Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Kosovo have all declared in agreements with the United States that say they’ll aim to safeguard their developing 5G wireless networks from Chinese-government influence, welcoming them into what the U.S. calls its “Clean Network” initiative. The mission of this initiative is to ensure that reliable, trustworthy companies help to develop and construct 5G networks.

“With today’s historic signing of a 5G security memorandum,” tweeted the U.S. Embassy in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, “Bulgaria has joined the Clean Network, and joins a growing coalition of countries and companies committed to protecting their 5G networks from untrusted vendors.”

This initiative seeks to get rid of “long-term threats to data privacy, security and human rights posed to the free world from authoritarian malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party,” said the US Department of State, Deutsche Welle and Radio Free Europe have reported.

This follows another European country, Sweden, this past month announcing that it would not offer 5G network contracts to entities which use services and products from the Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE, which many nations consider as being under the influence of China’s authoritarian regime led by the Chinese Communist Party.

RELATED: Sweden is banning Huawei and ZTE from its 5G networks

If they were to give such companies access to their 5G networks, many countries believe that it will make it easy for the Chinese government to conduct espionage via those networks on citizens, companies, and government entities and officials.

Prior to Sweden, the U.S. and the United Kingdom both led the charge earlier this year in banning Huawei from their networks. The U.S. has especially been trying to persuade its allies to follow suit.

Currently, the European Union is divided about what exact measures to take as many of its member states have joined the “Clean Network” initiative. These other countries, aside from Sweden, include: Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Denmark, and Latvia.

The leader of Bulgaria was especially thrilled when announcing the news of this agreement.

“Bulgaria and the U.S. are allies and strategic partners!” tweeted Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. “We discussed our economic cooperation with @KeithJKrach and later Bulgaria and the U.S. signed key documents in the field of the security of 5G networks and the nuclear energy for civilian purposes.”

Stevo Pendarovski, the President of North Macedonia, was more even-keeled but positive nonetheless.

“Given the advantages of 5G generation wireless communication,” he tweeted, “this memorandum of cooperation is vital for the future prosperity of our country from an economic point of view, as well as for national security.”

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, has yet to tweet about the agreement.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant



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With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.

Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.

The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.

In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.

“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.

“In partnership with the business community and the General Assembly, two years ago we set out to make Illinois a destination for electric vehicle and clean energy companies from across the globe,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”

Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.

“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”

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