China may use the dispute over Nord Stream 2 to punish Poland for blocking Huawei, which is suspected of spying for Beijing – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor in chief at BiznesAlert.pl.
The Xinhua News Agency has recently criticized the U.S. for its plans to expand sanctions against Nord Stream 2. It argues that the policy is hostile, harmful and similar to the one that Americans pursue against China’s Huawei.
“It is not the first time that Washington has abused its advantages in the global financial and trade system to threaten sanctions against world economic order and undermine global economic security,” the news agency of Beijing’s communist regime says.
“America’s wanton sanctions against sovereign states and foreign legal entities have seriously thwarted global trade cooperation,” the article continues. The agency also mentions Washington’s sactions against Iran, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela. “Even US allies face sanctions ahead. The Nord Stream 2 project, which will substantially increase the flow of Russian gas into Europe, may come to a halt because Washington believes it would adversely affect US gas industry and weaken America’s geopolitical interests in Eurasia,” the authors argue.
The agency fails to mention that the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline will not provide new gas, but replace the existing route via Ukraine with a new one – via Germany.
Xinhua enumerates trade tariffs for importing products from the EU aviation sector and Canada’s agricultural sector, as well as the “unilateral trade war” against China, which are all against the WTO regulations. “Its rule of action is simple — it only follows international trade rules when they are in America’s self-interest. The interests of the international community at large are not Washington’s concern,” Xinhua claims.
According to the piece, threats to non-U.S. companies go against global trade rules and fair competition, and undermine the development of global trade and supply chains. “To maintain its technology hegemony, the United States has in the past decades aggressively suppressed foreign rival companies, including Japan’s Toshiba, France’s Alstom, Sweden’s Ericsson and Germany’s Siemens,” the authors state. “In a similar fashion, Washington is now bullying Chinese high-tech firms such as Huawei, which caused severe disruption to the global chip industries with many chipmaker stocks plummeting on the market,” they continue.
The agency does not comment on the claims made by America and other states that Huawei was used by the Chinese intelligence to collect information.
“America’s pursuit of technology hegemony has turned the country into a stumbling block to global economic and technology advancement. Instead of leading the world in innovation, Washington is relentlessly cracking down on foreign rivals by abusing sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction, blatantly disrupting global economic order,” the article continues. “Amid the raging pandemic and headwinds to globalization, countries must stand together to strengthen global economic growth through strong cooperation, free trade and commitment to rules. America’s wanton sanctions, tariffs and economic bullying are going against the trend of history, and its pursuit of self-interest at the expense of others will not succeed,” the authors conclude.
In the past China defended the Nord Stream 2 project against US sanctions, but Poland’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki called on Washington to introduce restrictions that would stop the Russia-Germany gas pipeline. The Chinese defended Nord Stream shortly after a number of Poles were arrested on the suspicion that they had spied for China. We wrote about this on BiznesAlert.pl. Since then, the Gazeta Polska weekly revealed that the Chinese drafted a list of Poles about whom intelligence should be collected. The staff members of Poland’s energy sector are on that list. The Xinhua article was published on the 5th of November, a few months after Huawei had reported to the European Commission that Poland and Romania were blocking its entry to their telecommunications market, which in the company’s opinion constituted a breach of EU regulations, as reported by Politico.
Huawei wrote a letter to the EC on September 11 2020, but Politico’s office in Brussels revealed the information on the day Xinhua released the article in question. The portal suspects that Huawei’s actions may have a wider context, as new EU states are excluding the company from developing the 5G technology on their territory. The letter obtained by Politico said that Poland and Romania want to “exclude suppliers based on biased and ambiguous criteria targeting certain 5G suppliers because of their geographic origin.” It is worth reminding that the EC obliged EU members to introduce its guidelines for 5G security standards, the Commission did not name Huawei, but the new rules may exclude the company if it fails to meet them.