Huawei deal shows conflicting interests
Sat, 13 Oct 2012 6:10p.m.
By Susie Nordqvist
A former consultant to America’s security agencies says New Zealand could be putting trade with China ahead of security.
It comes as the US says Huawei, the company charged with rolling out faster broadband in New Zealand, may be a front for Chinese spying.
The Government says we have nothing to fear from Huawei – it cleared the deal with our spy agency, the GCSB.
But an intelligence analyst says he's not so sure.
“If you'd asked me a month ago should I take the GCSB's word at face value, I would've said absolutely,” says intelligence expert Paul Buchanan.
That was before it was revealed the GCSB illegally spied on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom because it didn't fully understand the immigration law.
“It may not be so much their expertise is lacking,” says Mr Buchanan. “But there may be some political commonsense that is lacking in seeing obvious threats, but discounting them because of the interest in trade.”
Mr Buchanan suggests New Zealand is torn between two high-powered suitors.
“I really don't think it's going to be tenable over the long term to try and trade preferentially with the Chinese and try and be first-tier security partners with the US, given the emerging strategic competition between the US and China.”
A US government report on Huawei revealed concerns the company is too close to the Chinese state and is a threat to cyber security.
Mr Buchanan says the Government needs to take a stronger leadership role in its spy agency, the GCSB.
As for Huawei, it says the US is trying to obstruct Chinese telcos from entering its market, adding you can't do $32 billion in business in one year without people trusting you.
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15/10/2012 2:40:39 p.m.
For once we don't listen to US, yet people like the Greens have an issue. Its all politics.
13/10/2012 7:57:18 p.m.
According to immigrant telco workers who have used Huawei equipment, that operates all our UFB network,is the equivalent of Warehouse stock , cheap junk.
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