China won't stand by idly in case of German 5G restrictions - embassy

FILE PHOTO: Huawei Mate 60 in Shanghai

BERLIN (Reuters) - China will not stand by idly if the German government decides to restrict the use of components from Chinese firms such as Huawei and ZTE <000063.SZ> in its 5G network, the Chinese embassy in Berlin said on Thursday.

Germany's interior ministry has proposed forcing telecoms operators to curb their use of equipment made by China's Huawei and ZTE after a review highlighted Germany's reliance on the two Chinese suppliers, according to a government official.

"If the German government really decides to move in this direction without proving that Chinese products pose a security threat to Germany, we will not stand by idly," the embassy said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

"Should Germany unjustifiably exclude Chinese companies, this would not only be a violation of the principle of fair competition, but would also harm Chinese companies and Germany itself," the Chinese embassy said.

It added that Huawei and ZTE had long operated in Germany in harmony with German law.

The interior ministry wants to present its approach to cabinet from next week.

(Reporting by Rachel More, editing by Kirsti Knolle)