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China criticises Australian ban on Huawei
October 30, 2013, 10:18 am

Huawei is one of the world's largest telecoms network infrastructure providers [Getty images]

Huawei is one of the world’s largest telecoms network infrastructure providers [Getty images]

China has criticised the new Australian government for upholding a ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, stating the decision is not “in line with the principles of market economy”.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson urged Australia to work towards a fair environment for foreign enterprises in the country.

“China has always opposed pleading national security as an excuse for disturbing normal economic and trade cooperation between two countries,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news briefing.

Huawei Australia was banned by the former Labor administration last year from applying for the $38 billion National Broadband Network project citing “security reasons”.

“We hope that both countries can work together to create favourable conditions and a fair environment for enterprises from both sides to conduct cooperation based on mutual respect and equality in line with the principles of market economy,” Hua told reporters.

Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull had earlier stated that he would support a review of the ban, raising expectations it would be scrapped.

The United States issued a congressional report after the ban in Australia last year, saying that Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese telecom company, posed a security threat to the United States and should be barred from US contracts and acquisitions.

The US report was dismissed by Huawei Australia Chairman John Lord as “protectionism,” not security.

Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set a deadline of 12 months to put in place a free trade agreement with China.

The decision to not overturn the ban on Huawei is expected to cast a shadow over trade talks between the countries.

“As important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, China and Australia share broad common interests”, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday, adding that “it accords with both sides’ core interests to conduct mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality and mutual respect”.

Beijing had criticised a trilateral statement issued by Australia, US and Japan earlier this month in Bali that condemned China’s “coercive or unilateral actions” in the disputed waters in the East China Sea.

“The United States, Japan and Australia are allies but this should not become an excuse to interfere in territorial disputes, otherwise it will only make the problems more complicated and harm the interests of all parties,” Hua said earlier.

Huawei is one of the world’s largest telecoms network infrastructure providers.

The company saw its net profit surge by 24.5 per cent year-on-year to 15.38 billion yuan ($2.48 billion) last year.

Source: Agencies