It isn’t just the US that sees Chinese telecom companies Huawei and ZTE as a threat to domestic security: Canada and Australia agree. Australia was first:
Huawei was the subject of an intense political debate in Australia this year after it was barred, on security grounds, from participating in the national broadband network.In March, it was revealed that the Gillard government had banned Huawei from any involvement in the $36 billion NBN.
Canada feels the same way, Reuters reports:
Canada indicated strongly on Tuesday it would exclude Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from helping to build a secure Canadian government communications network because of possible security risks.
So if the House report is “groundless” and “untrue”, as China’s commerce ministry spokesman, Shen Danyang, said yesterday, a lot of people in a lot of places are making the same mistake. Regardless, Beijing is quite displeased:
China’s commerce ministry warned that relations between the two countries would be hurt by a congressional report that said two Chinese telecommunications firms pose national security threats to the U.S.
The sharply-worded statement came a day after China’s foreign ministry and China’s state-run news agency also objected to a House intelligence committee report that urged U.S. companies to spurn the two Chinese firms, Huawei Technologies Inc. and ZTE Inc.
Via Meadia hopes this spat doesn’t turn into a “trade war” as some analysts suggest. And Chinese-Australian relations seem to have survived the fallout of Australia’s decision. Again, China’s counter-productive foreign policy strategy of barking ferociously and making large but vague threats followed by pragmatic retreats doesn’t win many friends or many victories.
In any case, when three governments agree on the suspicious nature of a couple of telecom companies, something’s definitely up.