Australia stands firm on Huawei ban

Cartoon: Jeff Parker, Florida Today and the Fort Myers News-Press.

The ?Five Eyes? network is a signals intelligence-sharing agreement between the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada. The network is controversial, with detractors characterising it as a secretive domestic spying operation, and supporters arguing that it is vital not only for fighting global terrorism, but also for safeguarding the security of the Anglosphere.

As China flexes its global muscle, Five Eyes is also key to resisting Beijing?s superpower aspirations. Allowing a Chinese telecommunications company run by a former PLA general to access critical communications infrastructure makes as much sense as allowing a KGB-run agency to build the Bell Telephone network during the Cold War. Consequently, the US, Australia and New Zealand have banned Huawei from their 5G networks and other communications infrastructure. Quote:

Australia will stand firm on its ban on Huawei from its broadband and 5G networks, even if President Donald Trump softens the US position on the Chinese telecommunications provider, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said. End of quote.

China is ramping up pressure on resistant Western nations. Especially bullying what it sees as the softer touches: New Zealand and Canada. Quote:

Speaking to reporters at Australia House in London, before her meeting with the UK’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Senator Payne said the Australian view on Huawei was clear.

“Well, we don’t want anyone in our communications networks that have an obligation to another government,” she said.

The British government has commissioned a review, due sometime between March and June, into whether the Chinese provider should be banned from the 5G network, but has sent signals that it is prepared to allow Huawei to continue supplying British networks. End of quote.

Theresa May?s foreign policy acumen is an oxymoron. It?s hardly any surprise that the Brits caved to the Chinese communists. Australia will be trying to convince them otherwise. Quote:

Senator Payne said she would be happy to share with her British counterpart the intelligence that had persuaded Labor and the Coalition in Australia to support a ban.

“It’s a decision we made ? in the context of protecting Australia’s national security ? using the strong advice of intelligence agencies on that matter,” she said.

“The decision of other countries is a sovereign one for them but I am always happy to share with the appropriate counterparts that sort of information that’s appropriate.”

Australia has banned Huawei from building its National Broadband Network and the US has been pressuring the other countries in the Five Eyes intelligence sharing network to follow suit, insisting Huawei can act as a conduit to Beijing, something the company denies. End of quote.

Well, of course they do. But then, China also denies that thousands of students were massacred in Tiananmen Square, or that Tibet has ever been anything but a vassal state of the Middle Kingdom. Quote:

This has been undermined in recent days, however, with Mr Trump openly musing about potentially softening the US position by potentially involving the company’s status in US-China trade talks before his meeting with China’s Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office last week?If the US were to wind back its position on Huawei, that would leave Australia stranded in enforcing a ban.

Senator Payne said that Australia’s position would not change, even if it were left isolated in its position on Huawei. End of quote.

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One senses (hopes) that Trump is dangling a carrot to lure an obstreperous opponent to the bargaining table. Australia?s firm ban on Huawei is a much-needed moment of clarity in a China foreign policy that has long been characterised by weakness, greed and outright bizarre decisions like selling the strategic Port of Darwin to a Chinese company ? a decision so egregiously stupid that it dismayed even the Obama administration.

The West has taken a long time to grow a pair and stand up to the Chinese communists. Banning their spy network is a good start.

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