Keith Krach: 5G agreement between US and Bulgaria is absolutely historic

We are trying to prevent a new Iron Curtain, the under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment noted

Keith Krach

This 5G agreement is absolutely historic. The assessment came from Keith Krach, US under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment, in a bTV interview. He was referring to key documents concerning fifth-generation wireless networks (5G) security and civil application of nuclear power that Bulgaria and the US signed on Friday in Sofia.

Early on in the interview, Krach stressed that Bulgaria is a good friend of the US. He talked about how three weeks ago he met in Brussels with the deputy secretary general of NATO, who underscored the crucial importance of having a clean network between member states so as to avoid a situation where we have “trustworthy” and “untrustworthy” networks in different countries.

“Both in peaceful and war time, the civil 5G network is of strategic importance. It is key to economic prosperity,” Krach said. He also reminded that early last week Assistant Secretary of State Rene Clarke Cooper visited Bulgaria as well, which is seen as a testament to this new momentum.

“I had a chance to talk to him just as he was leaving Bulgaria and he said he had had great meetings,” Krach said. He gave the two memoranda signed between the US and Bulgaria as examples. He believes that the driving force in bilateral relations is determined by all the steps taken along the way, as is leadership.

“By the way, if you look at our Clean Network programme globally, 50 telecommunications companies from around the world have joined the initiative. There are now 40 countries, and counting, who share our way of thinking. Clean Network is intended to fight the authoritarianism practiced by the Chinese Communist Party. If you look at Huawei and ZTE, their 5G technology, it is the backbone of surveillance. I think Bulgaria understands very well what it is like to live this way. That is what is happening right now,” Krach said.

He says that what the Chinese Communist Party wants to do is create a 1984, Orwellian type of Big Brother state. “They also want their Great Firewall of China in place so they can freely receive all incoming data without letting any data out. And vice versus – the entire propaganda content can go out into the world, but the truth can never penetrate the country’s bubble,” he believes.

Asked about whether the US will be able to convince Germany that Huawei and ZTE present such a threat, Krach said: “If you read the Handelsblatt article (on this issue), you will see that the German government is working on IT regulations, standards that fall close to the ‘trustworthy’ zone. I went to Germany two weeks ago to visit Berlin, Bonn and Munich and we created a European set of instruments for clean 5G network.” Keith Krach noted that the goal was to prevent a new Iron Curtain.

Finally, he addressed President Xi Jinping: “Mr President, bring down the Great Firewall of China! Allow people to be free and learn the truth!” Krach made an analogy with the Berlin Wall, which divided the free from unfree people. “The same principle applies to this Great Firewall of China,” he said.

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