Daily Management Review

UK Urged By China Not To Succumb To External Pressure On Huawei Decision


UK Urged By China Not To Succumb To External Pressure On Huawei Decision
The UK has been urged by China not to budge under external pressure over its politically and diplomatically sensitive decision to allow the Chinese firm Huawei to take part in the construction of 5G mobile network in the country – albeit only in the peripheral work.
China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has called on the UK to take the “right decision independently” in relation to choosing suppliers for the new 5G mobile network, in what is the first official comments made by Beijing on the issue.
There is currently a raging controversy in the political circles of UK over the leaking of a Whitehall inquiry following emergence of details of a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) where in the participation of Huawei in the roll out of 5G network in the country in a limited manner was approved by Theresa May.
It is being now suspected that the leak was made by some senior cabinet ministers who were opposed to the decision and such a stance is also supported by the country’s security chiefs and the UK’s closest allies. It is expected that the decision of the UK government is likely to be requested to be reconsidered by the Trump administration.
Huawei has already been blocked in the United States and Australia from taking participating in constructions of 5G networks in the countries due to security concerns. It had been reported that such concerns about Huawei were raised by cabinet ministers at the NSC meeting. .
While the US was not named directly by Liu while writing in the Sunday Telegraph, the article was clearly aimed to convince the UK not to succumb to pressure from the US. He wrote: “Countries of global influence, like the UK, make decisions independently and in accordance with their national interests.
“When it comes to the establishment of the new 5G network, the UK is in the position to do the same again by resisting pressure, working to avoid interruptions and making the right decision independently based on its national interests and in line with its need for long-term development.”
The UK was urged by Liu to resist “protectionism” and added: “The last thing China expects from a truly open and fair ‘global Britain’ is a playing field that is not level.”
The issues and concerns about the development of 5G were understandable since it was a new technology and “is not perfect”. “The risks should be taken seriously but risks must not be allowed to incite fear. They can be managed, provided countries and companies work together,” he wrote.
“Huawei has had a good track record on security over the years, having taken the initiative to invest in a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre, which employs an all-British monitoring team. The company has been working hard to improve its technology and to enhance the security and reliability of its equipment.”
The concerns have been expressed in a letter to the culture secretary, Jeremy Wright, by six Conservative MPs, including Bob Seely, a member of the Commons foreign affairs committee.
“Having China anywhere near our communications systems poses structural risks about the level of Chinese influence in our society. Chinese law demands that Chinese firms work with the Chinese secret services,” the letter said.