China today accused Boris Johnson of being ‘America’s dupe’ after the UK banned Huawei from its 5G network.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced yesterday that telecoms firms will be prohibited from buying Huawei 5G equipment from December 31 this year.
Meanwhile, all of the firm’s existing 5G technology will be stripped out of the network by the end of 2027.
The move represented a massive U-turn after Number 10 gave the Chinese tech giant the green light in January to participate in building the infrastructure.
The decision has sparked a furious response from Beijing which claimed the UK had colluded with the US to unfairly ‘discriminate’ against Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, the hardline state-backed Global Times publication today warned in an editorial it is ‘necessary for China to retaliate’.
The editorial said a failure to respond by Beijing would suggest China is ‘too easy to bully’ as it said measures taken against the UK should be ‘public and painful’.
The UK Government yesterday announced it is banning Huawei from Britain’s 5G network over national security concerns
The Government moved to ban Huawei from the UK’s 5G network after the White House imposed sanctions on the firm which prevent it from using US technology in its 5G equipment.
The UK said the sanctions meant it can ‘no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment’.
The US has long urged its allies not to use the company’s technology because of national security concerns – concerns which have always been rejected by Huawei.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying today told reporters that China strongly opposed the UK’s decision.
The spokeswoman said the move was driven by political reasoning and not by national security concerns as she also said Beijing will act to safeguard its interests in the wake of the U-turn.
The Associated Press quoted her as saying: ‘Without any concrete evidence, the United Kingdom took unfounded risks as an excuse and cooperated with the United States to discriminate, suppress and exclude Chinese companies.’
She said the UK’s actions ‘must come at a cost’ but did not elaborate on how Beijing could respond. She also claimed Britain had become ‘America’s dupe’.
Donald Trump appeared to claim credit for the UK’s decision, telling a press conference: ‘We convinced many countries – many countries – and I did this myself, for the most part – not to use Huawei because we think it’s an unsafe security risk. It’s a big security risk.
‘I talked many countries out of using it. If they want to do business with us, they can’t use it.
‘Just today, I believe that UK announced that they’re not going to be using it. And that was up in the air for a long time, but they’ve decided.’
Meanwhile, the Global Times today took aim at Britain in its editorial as it said Beijing must now hit back.
It said: ‘It’s necessary for China to retaliate against UK, otherwise wouldn’t we be too easy to bully?
‘Such retaliation should be public and painful for the UK. But it’s unnecessary to turn it into a China-UK confrontation.
Liu Xiaoming, the Chinese ambassador to the UK, tweeted yesterday that the UK had made a ‘disappointing and wrong decision’ by banning Huawei from the 5G network
‘The UK is not the US, nor Australia, nor Canada. It is a relative “weak link” in the Five Eyes.’
The decision to exclude Huawei from the UK’s 5G network came at a time when relations between the UK and China were already strained over coronavirus and Beijing’s decision to impose a controversial national security law on Hong Kong.
China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, said expelling Huawei was a ‘disappointing and wrong decision’.
‘It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries,’ he tweeted.