China's internet cable in Europe likely to fuel tensions with US
China’s underwater internet cable that will emerge in France later this year is expected to fuel further tensions between Beijing and the US and put Europe under additional pressure by Washington, says a report.
Chinese companies are building a 7,500-mile cable, known as Peace, that will connect Pakistan to France via stops along the Horn of Africa and Egypt before it crosses the Mediterranean.
The cable will emerge later this year in the French port of Marseille.
“This is a plan to project power beyond China toward Europe and Africa,” said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, the head of the French phone company, Orange SA, which will operate the cable’s landing station in Marseille.
The cable will largely serve to make service faster for Chinese companies doing business in Europe and Africa.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported on Friday that the Peace cable will bring France under additional pressure from Washington.
French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this year that his government does not want to isolate China from internet infrastructure under US pressure, adding Paris won’t have to “fully depend on US decisions.”
At a press conference with Macron at the same time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also objected to US attempts to isolate China.
Merkel said that she did not think decoupling from China was “the right way to go, especially in this digital age.”
The US has repeatedly accused China of using digital technology for spying. China has consistently denied the allegations.