Huawei Marine, ceded by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, has submitted bids by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which financed the Kiribati Connectivity Project, a project to improve communications on the remote Nauru islands. Kiribati and Federated States of Micronesia.
Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have warned the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), a US ally in the Pacific, that the safety of a sensitive submarine cable project would be in jeopardy if a tender was won by the Chinese construction company, According to a message quoted before Reuters.
In their September 18 letter, Cruz and Rubio said that China may try to forge its way into the project to conduct “espionage campaigns and geopolitical coercion.”
Senior US lawmakers are said to say that awarding the contract to a Chinese company “will severely complicate relations between our two countries and hinder the ability of American diplomats and employees to interact with the government.”
“The Chinese Communist Party supports companies such as Huawei to ensure its ability to defeat all competitors, and then uses the infrastructure established by those companies to promote geopolitical coercion and espionage campaigns in China,” the letter said.
There has been no official comment from the offices of Senator Cruz and Rubio on the report.
The US State Department said Huawei and its subsidiaries, such as Huawei Marine, pose an “economic and national security risk”.
Submarine cable three Pacific islands
Reuters reported last week that Huawei Marine, after being blacklisted by the United States and targeting sanctions over an alleged security threat, Huawei Marine, was now majority owned by another Chinese company, Hengtong. According to the company documents mentioned, Huawei Tech. The investment firm held a smaller stake in Huawei Marine.
The company is bidding at a price 20% lower than its competitors for a new subsea internet cable to be installed as part of an international development project in the region. Competing bidders include Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Nokia of Finland, and Japan’s NEC.
The Kiribati Connectivity Project of $ 72.6 million is funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The aim is to improve communication links with the outlying islands of Nauru and Kiribati and with the Federated States of Micronesia, a group of islands north of Papua New Guinea.
However, the bid evaluation phase left the project in a dead end due to diplomatic and commercial clashes between the United States and China.
There will be a risk of “espionage and geopolitical coercion”.
According to sources cited, the government of Nauru, Taiwan’s Pacific ally, was the first to raise concerns about Huawei Marine’s offers.
The letter currently reported by Cruz and Rubio is alleged to support previous warning notifications sent by US embassies to Pacific countries warning that the contract has been awarded to Huawei Marine.
In July, Reports Reuters and Washington sent a diplomatic note to the World Social Forum in July expressing strategic concerns about the project. These concerns stem from the fact that Huawei Marine, like other Chinese companies, is required to cooperate with Beijing’s intelligence and security services, sources said.