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Australia could set a pattern by blocking Huawei from its 5G project

Canberra is worried about China's National Intelligence Law

Huawei faces suspicion in Australia.

Huawei faces suspicion in Australia. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Australia might set an example for other countries in its decision what to do about Chinese telecom group Huawei Technologies’ participation in its 5G project, the Nikkei Asian Review wrote Tuesday.

The involvement of Huawei in building Australia’s 5G wireless network has been described as a security risk and was likely to be blocked, the Japanese publication quoted Australian experts as saying.

The world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturer faces strong suspicion due to China’s National Intelligence Law implemented last year. The act states that the Chinese government will protect citizens and organizations while they need to collaborate in “national intelligence work,” widely interpreted as a way to allow for Chinese nationals and businesses overseas to indulge in espionage.

Australia has repeatedly acted against Huawei, the Nikkei Asian Review noted, blocking it from a broadband tender and stopping plans for an undersea internet cable to the Solomon Islands and a project in Papua New Guinea.

Takeovers of crucial ports in Australia by Chinese companies fueled suspicion, with public opinion feeling that too many key interests were falling into Chinese hands.

Observers stated that both countries needed each other, with Australia a major supplier of raw materials to China while also being dependent on the communist country as a market for 30 percent of its exports.