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China puts foot down over Huawei

John Kerin, FR (Fairfax) | Dec. 19, 2012
The Chinese government has warned Australia risks jeopardising its role in China’s economic transformation unless it stops discriminating against Chinese companies, including telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei.
China puts foot down over Huawei

Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Australia Mr Chen Yuming says China did not want to see a repeat of what the “discriminatory’’ decision to ban Huawei from building part of the national broad­band network on security grounds.

The Chinese government has warned Australia risks jeopardising its role in China’s economic transformation unless it stops discriminating against Chinese companies, including telecommunications equipment manufacturer Huawei.

China’s ambassador to Australia, Chen Yuming, said Chinese investment would continue to focus on Australia’s substantial mineral resources. But as the Chinese economy became less reliant on producing exports, there would be a greater emphasis on investments in agriculture and consumer goods.

Mr Chen said China did not want to see a repeat of what he said was the “discriminatory’’ decision to ban Huawei from building part of the national broad­band network on security grounds.

Mr Chen said Australians had nothing to fear from China’s economic rise or its handling of territorial disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Despite the historical nature and complexity of the border disputes, Beijing was “committed to a peaceful resolution to these differences’’, he said.

“China’s development will be peaceful and it will in no way pose any challenge or threat to Australia or the Australian people.”

Australia’s military alliance with the United States, which has become closer under the Gillard government, is widely perceived to be a hedge against Chinese military expansion in the Asia Pacific.

SUPPORT FOR HUAWEI

Mr Chen’s comments were made in a wide-ranging interview to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations between Australia and China on December 21.

Mr Chen said Huawei was a “world-renowned telecommunications company’’ which is very competitive in many areas.

“We believe what Huawei has received in Australia does not equal fair treatment and the accusations against Huawei are unfounded,’’ he said.

“I would say like all investors from other countries Chinese companies investing in Australia all want a secure, open transparent and non-discriminatory environment for their business investment.

“We call on the Australian side at the official level and of course the Australian public to adopt a more objective view on Chinese companies and Chinese investment coming to Australia and to more warmly welcome Chinese companies doing business in Australia’’.

LARGEST TRADING PARTNER BUT LIMITED INVESTMENT

Although Australia is China’s largest trading partner – with ties worth more than $100 billion dominated by Australian exports of iron ore, coal and gas – foreign direct investment ties lag other trading partners.

 

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