Poland urges China to boost investment, drop tariffs

Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz met his counterpart Wang Yi for talks in Warsaw

Poland's foreign minister on Monday urged China to invest more in central Europe and to drop tariff barriers as his Chinese counterpart sought assurances that Warsaw would consider Beijing's controversial 5G technology.

Poland in January arrested a former executive of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei suspected of spying, casting doubt over its bid to develop a 5G network in the EU country closely allied with Washington.

The US has banned Huawei’s participation in the development of 5G wireless networks citing potential risks to national security.

"China invests a lot in Europe, but only five percent of its EU investments are in central and east European states," Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said at a joint press conference with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Warsaw.

"I encouraged the minister to make greater investments, of benefit to our society, in Poland and central Europe," Czaputowicz said, also calling for Beijing to "eliminate barriers" and "open up" to imports from Poland and other European countries.

He noted progress on the export of Polish farm products to China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he had received Warsaw's assurance of fairness in considering Beijing's 5G bid.

"Today I received the reassurance from the minister that Poland has an honest, non-discriminatory and equal approach to entities engaged in building 5G," Wang Yi said, according to an official translation.

The United States has banned government agencies from buying equipment from Huawei over fears Beijing could spy on communications and gain access to critical infrastructure if the firm is allowed to develop foreign 5G networks offering instantaneous mobile data transfer.

Washington is adamantly opposed to Huawei's involvement because of its obligation under Chinese law to help Beijing gather intelligence or provide other security services.

Europe in turn has been torn over its approach to the Chinese giant -- while countries such as Britain and Germany have accepted its part in the construction of their networks, other countries including the Czech Republic have warned against Huawei.