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Nancy Pelosi, Feb. 16. Photo: Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday cautioned U.S. allies against allowing Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to develop their 5G networks, arguing at the Munich Security Conference that doing so is akin to “choosing autocracy over democracy," CNBC reports.

Why it matters: Pelosi's hawkish stance marks a rare area of agreement with the Trump administration, which believes Huawei is a national security threat because the Chinese government may be capable of accessing its equipment for espionage.

  • The Justice Department last week also announced a 16-count superseding indictment against Huawei and its CFO for racketeering and conspiracy to steal trade secrets.
  • IP theft by Chinese companies is among the many issues that prompted President Trump to launch his trade war against China.

What she's saying: “This is about choosing autocracy over democracy on the information highway,” Pelosi said during a press conference, according to CNBC.

  • “It is about putting the state police in the pocket of every consumer in these countries, because of the Chinese way. And so, you ask about an alternative, and what I said a couple of days ago and yesterday, is that it should not be a Sinofication of the information highway but an internationalization of it.”
  • “It is a big price to pay in terms of national security, in terms of economy and in terms of our values and our governance. And that is why we have bipartisan support for this position. It is not about an economic advantage, it is about a values urgency: autocracy versus democracy. And we choose democracy.” 

The big picture: White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien and other officials claimed recently that the U.S. can prove that Huawei can covertly obtain data from networks that use its equipment. U.S. officials have been so far unsuccessful at convincing allies not to do business with Huawei.

  • The United Kingdom in January, despite repeated warnings from the U.S., announced that it is allowing Huawei to construct "non-core" parts of its 5G mobile networks, while banning the company from "sensitive locations" such as military or nuclear sites.
  • Lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Union Party last week backed tougher rules on foreign vendors' access to the country's new mobile networks, but stopped short of banning Huawei as the U.S. recommended, Reuters reports.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

CDC says some immunocompromised people can get fourth COVID shot

Photo: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot.

Details: People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Biden plan expected to include at least $500B for climate

Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House is privately telling lawmakers the climate portion of President Biden's roughly $2 trillion social spending plan is "mostly settled" and will likely cost more than $500 billion, two sources familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: A pricetag of $500-$555 billion is a huge number and, if it holds, would likely be the single biggest component of the sweeping package. It also isn't far off from the roughly $600 billion proposed when the bill was expected to cost $3.5 trillion.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. presses Gulf countries to help resolve Sudan coup crisis

Jake Sullivan briefs the press. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Biden administration has asked its partners in the Gulf and elsewhere to press the Sudanese generals who carried out a coup on Monday to release captives including Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and to reinstate the civilian government, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The U.S. has limited influence over coup leader Gen. Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and other military leaders, many of whom have close ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.