Warsaw’s moves confirm the suspicion that the high-profile arrest has the political purpose of catering to the US actions against Huawei.
Very few public espionage disputes have occurred between China and East Europe. Warsaw claims that the allegation was directed at personal behavior instead of the company, but how it handled the issue has already damaged Huawei’s reputation. Although clearly aware of the affair’s special resonance, Warsaw is wooing Washington while playing tricks on Beijing.
Poland fears China’s retaliation, so it is calling for a joint position with the EU and NATO so as to share the pressure. Meanwhile such a call helps the US expand suppression of Huawei into the EU and NATO.
Huawei’s equipment is widely applied in Europe’s 4G networks and no evidence proves that Huawei’s equipment has damaged European network security. Europe’s 4G network is independent and free, but will the continent obey Washington’s command in the communication industry starting from 5G? Warsaw is guiding Europe in the wrong direction.
As a middle-class country in Europe with limited influence and historical experiences of being invaded, Poland still worries that Russia’s threat has not been truly eliminated. Poland ranks a maximum security guarantee from the US at very top of its security agenda and is endeavoring to realize a US military presence in the country.
However, Warsaw’s anxiety is not universal in Europe, especially Western Europe. Most European countries are not as proactive as Poland in picking a side between China and the US and voluntarily helping Washington to exclude Huawei. Some European countries are keeping Huawei at a distance out of security concerns for Huawei’s equipment or US coercion.
Huawei is China’s best private high-tech enterprise and its suffering is symbolic. The Chinese government must help the company defend its legitimate rights and interests. Otherwise, if Huawei suffers a severe blow, it will jeopardize the confidence of all of Chinese society and the outside world would consider it doable to bully Chinese enterprises.
The Chinese government’s defense of Huawei’s overseas rights and interests has been taken as evidence that the company is close to the government. A few Chinese have clamored that the government does not have sufficient reason to use national resources to settle a private company’s overseas disputes. The government must turn its back on such voices. Protecting a native company, be it State-owned or private, is the government’s responsibility.
Beijing should resolutely negotiate with Warsaw and conduct relative counter-measures, helping the world understand that Poland is an accomplice of the US.
China must not be soft at this point. Beijing will not bully Warsaw – and it is unworthy to do so – but the latter must pay for the offense.