US warning of submarine cables in the Pacific Islands
US warning of submarine cables in the Pacific Islands

The United States has warned Pacific island nations of the security threats caused by the low-cost construction of submarine internet cables by the Chinese company Huawei Marine.

The cable construction is part of international development projects in the region that are supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Improving communication between the Republic of (Nauru), the Republic (Kiribati) and (Federated States of Micronesia).

Huawei Marine is bidding for $ 72.6 million, Alcatel Submarine Networks and NEC.

Washington sent a diplomatic note to the Federated States of Micronesia in July expressing strategic concerns about the project. Because Huawei Maritime and other Chinese companies have to work with the intelligence and security agencies in Beijing.

Previously, the government of Nauru, an ally of Micronesia and development agencies in Taiwan, issued a warning about Huawei Marine's participation in the project. China views Nauru, Taiwan's ally, as a breakaway country.

In a statement, Federated States of Micronesia said: Negotiations are ongoing with project partners, and some of them have raised the need to ensure that the cables do not endanger regional security by opening or closing loopholes. In cybersecurity.

After decades of the previous US Pacific Free Association Agreement, Washington is responsible for the defense of the Federated States of Micronesia.

A government spokesperson from Nauru said: The proposal is currently under review and stakeholders are working on technical and administrative issues to advance the project, but did not provide details.

The third country participating in the project is the Republic of Kiribati. After cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan last year and turning in favor of China, Huawei Water Transport's offer has been well received.

Submarine cables have greater data transmission capabilities than satellites. Because of their central role in international communications, they have become a sensitive diplomatic area in the Pacific Ocean.

While it is possible to split the Eastern Micronesia cable project, Huawei Marine's bid is 20% less than that of its competitors.

Given the cost, Huawei Marine has a strong advantage due to the supervision of the development agency.

The project is further complicated by the proposed connection to the HANTRU-1 submarine cable, which is primarily used by the United States government and passes through Guam, a US region with a large number of military assets.

Washington continues to warn Pacific countries against using Huawei Marine (currently owned by Hengtong, a Shanghai-listed company) to provide critical infrastructure.

The United States Department of Commerce has publicly included Huawei Marine in the Entity List (also known as the Blacklist), which restricts the sale of the company's US products and technology.

In 2018, Australia paid for submarine cable costs to the neighboring countries of the Pacific Submarine, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands to prevent Huawei Marine.

At the time, Australia was concerned that cables entering the Australian network could pose a future security risk.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said: After warning Pacific island nations of the security threats posed by Huawei Marine's attempt to build submarine cables, the United States is damaging the reputation of Chinese companies.

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