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Media Report
January 27 , 2019
  • The New York Times reports that Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign minister, arrived in Washington last week for a whirlwind of meetings dominated by a critical question: Should Britain risk its relationship with Beijing and agree to the Trump administration's request to ban Huawei, China's leading telecommunications producer, from building its next-generation computer and phone networks? Britain is not the only American ally feeling the heat. In Poland, officials are also under pressure from the United States to bar Huawei from building its fifth generation, or 5G, network. Trump officials suggested that future deployments of American troops — including the prospect of a permanent base labeled "Fort Trump" — could hinge on Poland's decision. And a delegation of American officials showed up last spring in Germany, where most of Europe's giant fiber-optic lines connect and Huawei wants to build the switches that make the system hum. Their message: Any economic benefit of using cheaper Chinese telecom equipment is outweighed by the security threat to the NATO alliance. Over the past year, the United States has embarked on a stealthy, occasionally threatening, global campaign to prevent Huawei and other Chinese firms from participating in the most dramatic remaking of the plumbing that controls the internet since it sputtered into being, in pieces, 35 years ago.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fired the country's ambassador to China after he sparked an uproar by saying a senior Huawei Technologies Co. executive arrested at U.S. request had a good case to fight extradition. Mr. Trudeau on Saturday said "I asked for and accepted John McCallum's resignation" as Canada's chief envoy in Beijing. In the statement announcing his dismissal, Mr. Trudeau thanked Mr. McCallum for his work over the years as an influential lawmaker. The statement didn't offer a reason for the dismissal. On Sunday, a Liberal government lawmaker, Mario Mendicino, told CTV Network that Mr. McCallum's remarks over the past week "were both unhelpful and did not reflect the position of the government. That's why the prime minister asked for his resignation."

  • Bloomberg reports that Malaysia will terminate a $20 billion rail project with contractor China Communications Construction Co., Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said.The Cabinet decided the East Coast Rail Link project was "beyond the government's financial capability," he told reporters on Saturday. Malaysia Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng wouldn't corroborate Azmin's comments, saying an official announcement would be issued if necessary by next week on the instructions of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. "The decision was taken because the cost of the project was too high," Azmin said in Kuala Lumpur. "If the project is not canceled, the government will have to bear the interest rate of about half a billion ringgit a year, which we can't afford. Therefore, the project needs to be terminated without jeopardizing relations with China."
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