Ousting Huawei, Australia finishes laying undersea internet cable for Pacific allies

2020-02-27 02:13:20    阅读:711913

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The final piece of Australia’s A$137 million ($92.53 million) undersea cable to bring high-speed internet to the

Solomon Islands an

d Papua New Guine澳门葡京赌侠之2017年 a was laid on Wednesday, with Canberra seeking to repulse Chinese influence in the Pacific. An internet LAN cable is pictured in this photo illustration taken in Sydney June 23, 2011. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne Australia in 2018 agreed to fund the constru

ction of the cable after the two Pacific islands struck deals with China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to lay a cable via Sydney - which Canberra feared could have jeopardized its broadband network. Huawei denies its equipment provides an opportunity for foreign espionage. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne

said the infrastructure, known as the Coral Sea Cable, will cement Canberra’s ties with the Pacific - a region that Australia worries is being swayed by China’s increased foreign aid to the region. “The cable is so practical, so important and so emblematic of the relationship between Australia and our key partners in the P

acific, Payne told reporters in Sydney.  “The Coral Sea Cable will deliver for Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands a connected future, Payn

e said, adding that the aim was for th

e cable to be operational by December. China denies using economic aid as political leverage, insisting it considers the ability of a country

to repay loans when

offering finance. In a bid to counter China, Australia has offered A$3 billion ($2.03 billion) in cheap loans and grants to the Pacific. The competition for influence in the Pacific has soured bilateral relations between Australia and China. The relationship came under further strain on Tuesday when China confirmed it has formally arrested a Chinese-born Australian writer on suspicion of espionage. Yang Hengjun, a former Chinese diplomat turned online journalist and blogger, was detained in January. Payne on Tuesday said Australia held grave concerns about Yang and the “harsh conditions he is being held in. The comments were immediately rebuked by China, which called on Australia to respect China’s judicial sovereignty.

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