- The Washington Times - Monday, April 6, 2020

Rep. Mark Green said the Chinese told France it would provide 1 billion protective face masks only if the French let Huawei implement its 5G capabilities.

The French Embassy in the U.S. responded on Twitter by disputing the Tennessee Republican’s claim as completely false.

“In France, we were told yesterday on a conference call that [French President Emmanuel] Macron was talking to [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping], and Macron asked for a billion masks and Xi said we’ll give ‘em to you if you implement 5G with Huawei,” Mr. Green said on Fox News this weekend. “That’s who China is, and it’s time the world wake up and recognize it.”

Mr. Green did not explain who was on the conference call or detail the evidence for his claim during his on-air appearance.

Reached by telephone on Monday, Mr. Green’s office did not provide additional details or evidence for the congressman’s claim and did not provide comment on the French calling his statement false.

“X This point has not been raised, either during the latest discussion between President Macron and President Xi or in the course of any other exchanges,” tweeted the French Embassy in the U.S. on Sunday.

As President Trump’s administration announced a coming ban on Huawei doing business in the U.S., Huawei turned toward Western Europe as another avenue for business. Huawei began waging an influence campaign designed to make the Chinese-owned company appear as the solution to global problems as the coronavirus outbreak spread.

False allegations connecting 5G networks to the coronavirus crisis have led to a string of attacks on cellphone towers in the United Kingdom, according to CNN.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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