The Polish government is cooperating with three mobile operators in the development of 5G in order to accelerate the deployment of the technology. In March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected US pressure on Europe and said: “We will set standards for ourselves.” According to the Chancellor`s statement, the federal network agency BNetzA has set stricter safety standards for 5G devices, but has not committed to excluding a particular company without sufficient evidence. In September 2019, Warsaw and Washington signed a joint declaration on 5G, which US Vice President Mike Pence called “an important example for the rest of Europe on the broader issue of 5G.” However, the Polish government has continued to try to maintain its neutral position vis-à-vis Huawei, in part because of the reluctance to get ahead of other EU countries. Surprisingly, a month before Pompeo`s visit, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called for “putting all of Europe on 5G in the United States,” while warning of “two companies controlled by an authoritarian regime” – implicitly about Huawei and ZTE – and against “the influence of authoritarian regimes.” Similarly, President Andrzej Duda has stopped using his TikTok account since May 2020, although a press bureau chief has denied linking the decision to pressure from the United States. Following these developments, Polish media expected Pompeo`s visit to be a watershed moment for Huawei`s participation in the 5G network in Central and Eastern Europe. Paradoxically, the recent debate on 5G shows what unites Washington, Berlin and Beijing: their paternalistic approach to the EEC region. “It is believed that the EEC region lacks experts who understand China and who are aware of the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with close cooperation with Beijing,” Bachulska said. “CeE should build a coherent local narrative to prove that the region is capable of making strategic decisions independently and consciously.” “The American expectations for this visit were much higher than its final effects,” said Alicja Bachulska, a Chinese analyst at the University of Warsaw`s Asian Research Center. “Poland is looking to diversify 5G suppliers to balance its own interests. Warsaw is trying to avoid a direct confrontation with Beijing in the style of the Trump administration, but relations with Washington remain of the utmost importance. The Trump administration — warned companies that if they used Chinese-made products, they would jeopardize the U.S. willingness to share intelligence information — has struggled to convince European nations to board with their Huawei ban, when the company has in fact been banned for years from selling its equipment to U.S.

mobile operators.