Dollars Fly As Bishop Outbids Huawei For Solomons Cable
Australia yesterday inked a contract to spend $100 million on a project to build a 4000km undersea cable linking the Solomon Islands to Papua New Guinea and Australia.
The Australian move outbid an earlier project by China’s Huawei to construct the cable, a deal which Australian government sources believed could have given China access to Australian signals.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday wasn’t entering into that side of the matter, describing the cable contract, as a simple matter of competition.
“We offered them [the Solomons and PNG] an alternative to an undersea cable project that we believe is cheaper, faster, and more reliable than the competitor,” Bishop told the ABC’s AM program.
Another cable project, dubbed ICN2, has meanwhile been contracted to connect the Solomon Islands to Vanuatu. That cable would provide a second indirect route to the USA, via cables connecting Vanuatu to Fiji, and then Fiji to Hawaii.