Excluding the companies from the Australian network has angered Beijing, but foreign minister says it protects national security

The incoming foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, has defended a decision that shut Chinese telecommunications giants out of Australia’s 5G network, saying it was necessary to protect national security.

The decision to bar Huawei and ZTE from supplying equipment to Australia’s 5G network was made amid the Liberals’ leadership ructions late last week, meaning it was largely overshadowed by the political turmoil.

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