China strongly opposes UK's Huawei ban, saying decision driven by politicization
China said on Wednesday it will take all necessary measures to safeguard its interests following Britain’s decision to purge all Huawei Technologies Co Ltd equipment from its 5G network by the end of 2027.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that China strongly opposes Britain’s decision and said the decision was driven by the politicization of commercial and technological issues and not by national security.
US President Donald Trump said yesterday that he was responsible for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to ban Huawei.
Johnson on Tuesday ordered Huawei equipment to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by the end of 2027.
“We convinced many countries, many countries — 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,” Trump told reporters.
“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.”
China said the remark showed the decision was about geopolitics rather than security.
“This once again demonstrates that the relevant bans on Huawei are completely unrelated to national security, rather this is highly politicized manipulation,” Hua said in Beijing.
“This once again allows everyone to see clearly the one who is issuing threats here, there and everywhere is perhaps not China but the US,” she said.
While Huawei said Johnson’s decision would put Britain into the digital slow lane, China said London had sided with Washington to exclude Chinese companies.
“This mistaken decision seriously hurts the interests of Chinese companies and seriously hits the foundation of mutual trust for cooperation between the UK and China,” Hua said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said late yesterday that US will ban visas to some of Huawei employees.
Britain, on the other hand, denied that Trump alone was responsible for the Huawei ban.
Asked about the comments, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: “Well, we all know Donald Trump don’t we?”
Chinese Ambassador to the UK said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 5G ban on Huawei was disheartening and that other Chinese businesses had followed how the telecoms giant was “dumped” so investment would be hurt.
“It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries.”
“Now I would even say this is not only disappointing — this is disheartening,” Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told the Centre for European Reform, adding that Britain had “simply dumped this company.”
“The way you are treating Huawei is being followed very closely by other Chinese businesses, and it will be very difficult for other businesses to have the confidence to have more investment,” he said.
UK made a nonpartisan decision in January allowing Huawei a “limited role” in building its 5G network with a 35 percent cap.
It explained Tuesday’s U-turn decision was prompted by sanctions imposed on Huawei by Washington preventing the Chinese company from using American components.
Analysts say that London’s recoil from the prior stance could fetter Britain’s plans in staying competitive in the hyper-connected and hyper-broadband world, and cautioned that the political decision could have deeper implications to the global and UK economy.