China denies threatening to pull plug on Faroe Islands’ salmon trade deal over Huawei 5G contract

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China’s foreign ministry denies that it told the Faroe Islands to sign up to Huawei 5g contract exclusively, or else. 

The Global Times – the Chinese-and-English language news outlet published by th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – tweeted: “Claims of #China threatening to drop the free trade agreement if the Faroe Islands don’t sign a #5G contract with #Huawei are completely false and have ulterior motives. China and the #FaroeIslands do not have a free trade agreement: Chinese Foreign Ministry.

On Tuesday, the publication Berlingske revealed in a secret sound recording that the Chinese ambassador to Denmark, Feng Tie, has been trying to pressure top people in the Faroese government to choose Huawei as the supplier of a new 5G network.

China’s Global Foreign Ministry hit back in a press conference by saying: “Without a deal, how could it be dropped? It is the senior US officials who always threaten others to curb their cooperation with China”.

The publication reported that the Faroe Islands have long negotiated with China on a free trade agreement, to increase exports of Faroese salmon to China, but an agreement is not yet in place.

The Faroe Islands are a self-governing part of the the Danish Realm. The U has sanctioned Huawei due to security concerns and is attempting to convince allies to follow suit.

Huawei told Berlingske that it “dismissed these accusations and emphasizes on the outside that it is a private company not associated with the Chinese state”.

Farosese PM Bárður á Steig Nielsen. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Berlingske also alleges that top-level politicians met with China’s ambassador Feng Tie at meetings on November 11 including Faroe Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and Education Jenis av Rana, Faroese People’s Party leader Jørgen Niclasen and the archipelagos current PM Bárður á Steig Nielsen.

It was reported that Tie told them to allow the country’s telecommunications company Føroya Tele to allow Huawei to build the 5G network. This would allow smooth access to the country’s emerging multimillion dollar market, hunger to Faroese fish – worth over USD 118 million in 2018.

The reveal is the first to show how Chinese authorities are linking access to the giant Chinese market with Huawei’s European contracts on 5G networks.