Huawei ban won't sour China relations: Gillard

Huawei ban won't sour China relations: Gillard

Summary: Prime Minister Julia Gillard has denied claims that the government's decision to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from tendering for the National Broadband Network (NBN) has damaged Australia's relationship with China.

SHARE:
TOPICS: NBN, Broadband, China
5

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has denied claims that the government's decision to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from tendering for the National Broadband Network (NBN) has damaged Australia's relationship with China.

Julia Gillard
(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

The government banned Chinese-owned network vendor Huawei from competing for contracts with the NBN because of security fears. Huawei has long been under scrutiny because of alleged links with the People's Liberation Army. The office of the attorney-general said that it had the responsibility to protect the integrity of the network and the information carried on it.

The Coalition's finance spokesperson Andrew Robb slammed the decision, saying that Labor had damaged relations with China.

At yesterday's announcement of the NBN's three-year roll-out plan, Gillard said Australia's relationship with China was strong.

"We've got a strong robust relationship with China, we are deeply engaged at every level. We have a strong economic relationship, we have increasing ties at every level," she said.

"I'm not surprised this is one moment where we are seeing things differently, but it would be a great error indeed to move from a moment where we are seeing one thing differently and then extrapolate that to the full dimensions of the relationship. A very grave error indeed."

Gillard said she was acting in Australia's interest in imposing the ban on the Chinese network vendor.

"I stood up for Australia's national interest. I note the opposition is standing up for the interests of a Chinese company," she said, adding that the decision was not in breach of trade obligations.

"Any suggestion this is somehow in breach of our trade obligations is simply untrue and I note China takes a view about its own telecommunications system and roll-out [and] whether or not there should be foreign investment in that."

Gillard said that the government took the right decision based on the right advice about "a piece of critical infrastructure for our nation's view".

Topics: NBN, Broadband, China

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Apart from costing Australia a great deal of money on the more costly alternatives, can banning acompany that has the resorces not only to buy this network in the future or even buy the country, Does anyone in there right mind think this would stop anyone, They own the computer doggle market now and have the means to hack any computer in the country, Grow up woman its to lae they near own us now, ask Mr Keating nother Labor pro communist leader who also told the people of Australia we are a part of the Asian community, Labor has sold us out years ago, and our future as Australians is now on the edge of oblivion.
    Siralfred
    • "our future as Australians is now on the edge of oblivion"?
      Really? What exactly do you think is going to happen? We will suddenly be subsumed into Beijing and be forced to eat noodles instead of bread?
      This kind of over-dramatic reaction is actually laughable. The Western world is to blame for its own economic slow-down. We created the capitalist model which forced manufacturing offshore. If you are complaining that Australia is party of the Asian community, what are you proposing as the alternative? Reinvigorated relationships with theUK and US (which are both going down the gurgler, in case you hadn't noticed)?
      Or are you perhaps not making any suggestions at all? You're just having a whinge because you don't like change and you enjoying indulging in casual xenophobia.
      Rob2b
  • and we trust Gillard because ? 1. she is a politician 2. she gives her word 3. she never breaks promises 4. she knows what she is doing. If you can answer YES to any of those then she may have some credibility.
    Hideous62
  • Just thought I'd point out that Telstra & Optus networks rely heavily on Huawei equipment so IF the Chinese are spying on us we're already up the creek in a barbed wire canoo without a paddle.
    Jingles-8366c
  • No Prime Minister, I am convinced this ban will enhance Australia's relationship with China.
    Knowledge Expert