Anglo-Australian talks over Huawei dispute leaked, triggering bilateral diplomatic fallout

[Current News]     18 Feb 2020
Foreign minister rabb (left) and foreign minister penn (right) met in canberra last week in britain and australia over a secret discussion of johnson government's proposal to allow china's Huawei to participate in 5g, sparking bilateral diplomatic tensions. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) revealed over the weekend that the UK's High Commissioner in Australia had taken the rare step o...

Lab Foreign Minister (left) talks with Foreign Minister Payne (right) in Canberra last week

Secret discussions between britain and australia over mr johnson`s proposal to allow china`s Huawei to participate in 5g have leaked, sparking bilateral diplomatic tensions.

The uk`s high commissioner in australia took the rare step of writing to the heads of the two councils of federal parliament over the weekend, revealing details of sensitive talks during the official test of british foreign minister dominic raab`s visit.

One of the committees, the powerful paraliament intelligence and security council, has cancelled a planned visit to the uk to the united states at a time of heightened controversy between its two allies.

Addressman and sensor of australia`s parliament intelligence and security council, who were scheduled to visit the uk between march and april this year, met with british intelligence and britain`s parliament intelligence council to discuss privately the issue of britain allowing Huawei to participate in the construction of the 5g network.

British Foreign Minister Raab visited Canberra last week for his first international visit after Brexit, aiming to complete trade talks between the two countries and strengthen bilateral trade links.

A few days before his visit, britain had just become the first "five-eye" intelligence alliance to ignore the u.s. warning to allow Huawei to participate in the construction of its 5g communications network, which consists of the united states, australia, britain, canada and new zealand.

In addition to talks with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne during his visit to Canberra, Rabb spoke with the chairman and vice-chairman of the Federal paraliament`s Intelligence and Security Committee and the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Anthony Byrne, Labour`s vice-chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, strongly criticised the Lab`s foreign minister in secret discussions, the Sydney Morning News reported.

"How would you feel if the Russians laid the foundations of your own network? That`s how we feel about Huawei. "

The private talks were attended only by Britain`s High Commissioner in Australia, Vicki Treadell, the chairman of the parliament`s Intelligence and Security Committee, the Liberal Party`s councillor Hastie, and the Liberals`senator Fawcet.

The ABC has confirmed that Triede has written to Hesti counculor and Fawcett sensor to officially express his dissatisfaction with the leak of the private talks.

Although Hesti, Fawcett and Bain all declined to answer ABC`s inquiry, it was confirmed that the High Commissioner`s response was "methodical" and "harsh."

But one member of the commission claimed that the UK High Commissioner`s intervention was "a major mistake" and "stupid." As it turned out over the weekend, the parliament intelligence council would not visit the uk instead of the united states, although treasury secretary josh frydenberg tried to downplay the dispute, claiming that the australian relationship "has never been stronger" than it is now.

The British High Commissioner`s Office in Australia refused to confirm that the letters had been sent, telling ABC that "it is unable to comment on or disclose any information about the private talks ".

Mr Payne declined to comment on the UK`s High Commissioner`s official complaint that the Huawei discussion had leaked.

Foreign minister rabb assured australia last week that britain`s allowing Huawei to participate in the 5g proposal would not affect its ability to share sensitive intelligence with other allies in the "five-eye" alliance.

Lab Foreign Minister (centre), High Commissioner Trid (first from left), Fasset senator (second from left), Hesti councillor (second from right) and Bain councillo (first from right) for private talks

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