Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI)’s think tank says that the Chinese Huwai is the largest sponsor for the country’s politicians’ overseas trips as compared to other corporate companies in the world. As per reports, the multinational company sponsored 12 international trips for federal MPs to China in the last eight years. The figure is almost two times more than the number of trips sponsored by the well- known mining billionaire Andrew Frost’s Fortescue Metals Group, which is the next highest sponsor in the corporate world.
Australia may bar Huwai from bidding contracts
Report states that around dozen Australian politicians were offered lavish overseas trips by Huwai through its Shenzhen-based office in China, which has caused great concern to the West. The Western countries are worried about the security and privacy issues and have raised concerns about the efforts of the Chinese conglomerate to influence the politicians in Australia. According to the institute located in Canberra, it gathered and analyzed the information related to paid business class flights, local travel, meals, and accommodation from the parliamentary registers between 2010 and the current year.
It should be noted that the United States has essentially stopped the company’s business and Australia may soon bar the company from bidding on contracts for building 5G or fifth generation telecom network in the country. Most probably, Huwai will have to face the bar over spying and security concerns.
According to the head of International Cyber Policy Centre of ASPI, Fergus Hanson and research intern Jessica Clarence, “While Huawei’s sponsorship of politicians’ travel to China doesn’t breach any rules, the number of trips it has funded raises questions about whether MPs should be able to accept any funded travel from corporations.”
The duo further added that the high number of sponsored trips raise questions about the appropriateness of whether the politicians should go on trips sponsored by companies such as Huwai that are trying to bid for Australia’s 5G network contract. The 5G network is considered to be a critical part of Australia’s infrastructure and hence the West is more concerned about these sponsored international trips.
Huwai’s move causing global controversy
The Chinese company is currently bidding for providing equipment to the new 5G network in Australia. It has been the major cause of worry for the countries in the West. It is because Beijing can order Huwai to become a part of the national intelligence work allowing easy access to the Chinese Communist Party to the infrastructure of Australia.