The cable construction comes within the framework of the international development project in the region supported by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank ADB to improve communications in the Republic of Nauru and the Republic of Kiribati andFederated States of Micronesia.
Huawei Marine placed a $ 72.6 million bid alongside offers from Alcatel Submarine Networks and NEC.
Washington sent a diplomatic note to Federated States of Micronesia In July, she expressed her strategic concerns about the project because Huawei Marine and other Chinese companies are required to cooperate with Beijing’s intelligence and security services.
That note came after an earlier warning by MicroNicia And development agencies of the Nauru government, an ally of Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province, about Huawei Marine’s participation in the project.
Government said Federated States of Micronesia In a statement: It is in talks with project partners, some of whom spoke of the need to ensure that the cable does not harm regional security by opening or failing to bridge cybersecurity gaps.
Under the Free Association Agreement, a decades-old agreement between the United States and its former Pacific territories, Washington is responsible for defending Federated States of Micronesia.
A spokeswoman for the Nauru government said: The offers are under examination and that the stakeholders are addressing technical and administrative issues to ensure the progress of the project, without going into details.
The third country involved in the project, the Republic of Kiribati, is viewing Huawei Marine’s offer favorably after cutting diplomatic ties with Taiwan last year in favor of China.
Submarine cables, which have a greater capacity to transmit data than satellites, have emerged as a sensitive area of diplomacy in the Pacific Ocean, given their central role in international communications.
While the project, named East Cable Project MicronesiaDivided, Huawei Marine’s offer is 20 percent less than competitors.
And considering the cost, Huawei Marine is in a strong position to win due to the conditions overseen by the development agencies.
The project is further complicated by its planned connection to the HANTRU-1 submarine cable, primarily used by the US government, that passes through Guam, a US region with significant military assets.
Washington continues to warn Pacific countries against using Huawei Marine – currently owned by Hengtong listed in Shanghai – to provide critical infrastructure.
The US Department of Commerce publicly lists Huawei Marine in the so-called Entity List – also known as the Blacklist, which restricts the sale of US goods and technology to the company.
And Australia in 2018 paid the cost of submarine cable to its Pacific neighbors, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, to block Huawei Marine.
And Australia raised concerns at the time that the cable could pose a future security risk if it tapped into the Australian network.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said: The United States is tarnishing the reputation of Chinese companies after warnings to Pacific island states about the security threats posed by Huawei Marine’s attempt to build the submarine cable.