[Wen / observer] Agence France-Presse reported 13, after Solomon gave up a contract signed with HUAWEI in the Pacific island country, Australia proposed that a submarine communications cable would be laid on the same day.
Earlier, Australia had promised last month that it had allocated more than 1 billion 300 million Australian dollars (about $970 million) from the budget to support projects such as the laying of communications cables, which would also be linked to Papua New Guinea.
According to public opinion, Australia is now competing with China in the South Pacific, hoping to maintain its diplomatic influence in the region.
Yellowing China's Solomon cable project
At the end of 2016, the Solomon islands signed an agreement with HUAWEI to build a cable from Sydney, Australia to Solomon, Honiara, to improve its current unreliable communication network. At present, the island countries in the Pacific are mainly dependent on satellite communications.
The signing ceremony of Solomon islands Prime Minister Soja Vallee (Sogavare, Zhong) and HUAWEI. The picture comes from the Solomon archipelago government
However, cooperation was later blocked by Australia, demanding that Solomon give up its cooperation with HUAWEI. Even the Australian intelligence chief warned that HUAWEI's cable would be more vulnerable to torpedo attacks and would threaten Australia's national security.
At the end of last year, the Financial Times reported that HUAWEI built this cable project worth 78 million US dollars.
Last week, the Solomon islands Prime Minister Hone F Vera (Rick Houenipwela) told reporters that the government was initially considering the construction of the optical cable by HUAWEI, but the Solomon administration reconsidered the Chinese company's participation because of Australia's concerns.
The observer network previously reported that the company for laying submarine optical cable projects for the Solomon islands was HUAWEI Marine Networks (Huawei Marine Networks, hereinafter referred to as the ocean).
The company is a joint venture between HUAWEI and the British global maritime system, which has more than 150 years of experience in the installation and maintenance of communication systems.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (Julie Bishop) refused to elaborate on obstructing HUAWEI's submarine cable project.
"I will not elaborate on security issues," she said. I can only say that the services we provided for the Solomon islands have been accepted by them. In terms of alternatives, our services are cheaper, and they may be a quicker result for them.
In 2012, Australia banned HUAWEI from bidding for Australia's national broadband project because of concerns about network security.
Bishop's concern is probably not just about security. Earlier this month, she said: "we hope to continue to be the preferred partner of the Pacific countries".
Worry about China's influence in the Pacific
On the 13 day, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull told reporters in Canberra after a meeting with Hone F Vera: "we are concerned about ensuring that Australia's aid provides support for the economic and social development of the Pacific region, which is the reason why we build the optical cable."
"As we strengthen our contacts with the Pacific, we are working with the Solomon islands, and we have worked harder than ever to ensure stability, security and prosperity in the region." Turnbull said.
Bloomberg reported that Turnbull said the high speed cable would extend from the east coast of Australia to Honiara in Papua, New Guinea, and then to the remote provinces of the Solomon islands.
"Canberra and other regional capitals are increasingly concerned about Beijing's entry into the Pacific by" soft diplomacy ", which may undermine the strategic balance of the region."
Agence France-Presse, in the face of China's recent strength in the region, is trying to win its influence on the Pacific island countries.
Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao said that China has stepped up its diplomatic and economic participation in the Pacific region in order to enhance its global influence. China has signed at least $1 billion 800 million in aid and loans in the region since 2006, according to data from the Lowy Institute, a Sydney think tank Lloyd's International Policy Institute. This raises concerns about Australia, the largest donor in the region.
According to the Lianhe Zaobao, the media previously reported that HUAWEI provided a political contribution to the Solomon archipelago government as part of the bid effort for the optical cable project. In this regard, HUAWEI denied it in August last year.
The report also said HUAWEI did not give up its new project in Australia. It is bidding for the Telstra 5G mobile network construction contract and has obtained a contract for the construction of Perth metropolitan rail transit system communication system.
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