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Political noise blocks Huawei's chances in US

English.news.cn   2010-09-02 15:02:32 FeedbackPrintRSS

BEIJING, Sep. 2 (Xinhuanet) --Huawei, one of China's biggest telecommunication firms, is facing unfair obstacles in gaining access to large network contracts in the US.

Lately the political objections have taken a moralistic tone that maligns Huawei with accusations based on inaccurate evidence and hearsay.

The most dramatic attack came last week in a letter from a group of conservative US senators. Here are excerpts from the letter.

"Huawei has a concerning history. The Iraq Survey Group reported that Huawei sold communications technology to Saddam Hussein's regime in possible violation of UN sanctions and it also supplied the Taliban before its fall. Some reports indicate that this communications technology included fiber optic equipment used in Saddam Hussein's air defense network, which routinely fired on US military aircraft."

This refers to an article in 2001. That was 10 years after the Iraqi telecom system was destroyed for the first time in 1991 in the First Gulf War, and two years before the coalition obliterated the civilian infrastructure in March 2003, leaving the US Army and State Department in control of a country without any civilian communications for their own use or for reconstruction. The evidence for this paragraph is at least seven years out of date.

Since 2003, the international telecommunications company most responsible for facilitating reconstruction in Iraq has been Huawei. Many Western companies would not send engineers to Iraq for security reasons.

Huawei has 200 engineers and support personnel spreading out around the country with minimal security, helping the Iraqi national telecommu-nications company rebuild its national telecommunications grid.

Had the US military and State Department engaged Huawei earlier, especially in the 2003-05 period, reconstruction would have occurred much faster in Iraq, perhaps limiting some of the conditions that fostered the insurgency.

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Editor: Pliny
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