Chinese Ambassador Threatens Small European Territory over Huawei 5G Contract

People walk by the Huawei stand at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world's biggest mobile fair, on February 26, 2018 in Barcelona. The Mobile World Congress is held in Barcelona from February 26 to March 1. / AFP PHOTO / Pau Barrena (Photo credit should read PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images)
PAU BARRENA/AFP/Getty Images

The Chinese Ambassador to Denmark threatened high-level officials in the Faroe Islands, warning the Communist country would cancel a free trade agreement if the islands refused to sign a contract with the controversial Chinese telecom company Huawei.

An audio recording in the Faroe Islands, a small territory of the Kingdom of Denmark north of Britain’s Shetland Islands, reveals that Mr Feng Tie, the Chinese ambassador to Denmark, is shown to have tied growing exports of salmon to China from the archipelago to the local telecoms operator Føroya Tele agreeing to let Huawei build the 5G network. Mr Feng said that if the contract was not granted, China would not enter into any trade agreement with the islands.

The recording shows that Bárður á Steig Nielsen, the leader of the Faroe Islands, rebuffed the Chinese ambassador’s demands, stating that the government would not interfere in the 5G network contract selection. The Danish Ministry of Defence is also advising against the selection of Huawei as the 5G network provider, reports the Danish newspaper Berlingske.

For more than a week, the Faroese government has tried to keep the audio recording a secret, placing reporting restrictions of the TV station Kringvarp Føroya from releasing the tape.

The incident marks the first time that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is known to have sought to tie trade talks in Europe with access to 5G networks for Huawei, a telecommunications company that claims to not have ties to the Chinese government.

“China is now brandishing economic sticks of its own for when European countries do not take on Huawei for 5G networks. This was a peek into what is likely a broad effort on China’s part to pressure and persuade European officials to its side. It’s time for European leaders to call Beijing out on its interference,” Luke Patey, a senior researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies, told The Telegraph.

This week, Telefónica Deutschland, the second-largest mobile phone company in Germany, announced that it would allow Huawei equipment in its 5G network, despite pressure from the United States to not use the company over fears of it being used as a surveillance apparatus for the Chinese Communist Party.

China expert Gordon Chang told SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight in July that the United States should “kill” Huawei.

“They’ve been stealing U.S. intellectual property from the very beginning. [Since] it was founded in 1987, China’s been surreptitiously downloading data using Huawei’s servers,” said Chang.

“The way to stop Huawei is to kill it off, and the United States has the power to do that,” he determined.

In November, China launched the world’s largest 5G network to date, with Huawei providing the hardware for nearly 50 per cent of the networks in the Communist country. The company also announced that it is attempting to build the biggest artificial intelligence system in the world.

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtZindulka

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