(Reuters) - China's Huawei believes Europe will not follow the United States in blacklisting the company because it has been a partner of European telecoms firms for many years, a top Huawei executive told an Italian newspaper.
The U.S. government has imposed heavy restrictions on Huawei, accusing the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker of being vulnerable to involvement in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.
Huawei denies this, saying Washington has produced no evidence to back up its claims and that independent testing of its equipment shows no vulnerability to potential Chinese espionage.
Huawei Vice-President Catherine Chen told newspaper Corriere della Sera in an interview published on Tuesday that the company had been working in Europe for 10 to 20 years, collaborating closely with telecoms firms on developing 5G networks.
"We don't think it can happen in Europe," Chen said when asked if she was worried that European nations would bow to U.S. pressure to impose similar restrictions.
"I believe they will take their own decisions independently," she said.
In a separate interview in Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Huawei's Italy chief, Luigi De Vecchis, said Europe would set back its own efforts to develop 5G networks and to digitise its economies if it were to blacklist Huawei.
(Reporting by Mark Bendeich; editing by Jason Neely)