China delivers stark threat that Britain will suffer ‘bad effects’ if Huawei is banned from building UK’s 5G network over spying fears
- Ambassador to UK warns of trade and investment hit if telecoms firm blocked
- Liu Xiaoming says it would send ‘very bad message… to Chinese businesses’
- Britain under pressure from US not to let Huawei help build network
- Government yet to make a final decision and matter is subject to a review
China has warned the UK that it will suffer ‘bad effects’ if it bans Huawei from involvement in building Britain’s 5G mobile network.
The country’s ambassador to the UK said blocking the communications giant would likely hurt trade between the two nations and potentially hamper Chinese investment in Britain.
The question of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s national infrastructure exploded in April as it emerged Theresa May had reportedly given the partial green light to the firm despite warnings it could pose a national security risk.
The Prime Minister apparently signed off on allowing Huawei to help build ‘non-core’ parts of the network.
Liu Xiaoming, China’s Ambassador to the UK, (pictured in May 2018) said stopping Huawei from playing a role in building Britain’s 5G network could harm trade between the two nations
The Government has since insisted that no final decision has been made on Huawei with a review of the issue currently ongoing.
Ambassador Liu Xiaoming told the BBC that blocking Huawei would likely result in ‘bad effects not only on trade but also on investment’.
‘It will send a very bad message not only to Huawei but also to Chinese businesses,’ he added.
Britain has been under pressure from the US not to give Huawei any role in the building of the 5G network because of spying concerns.
There had been suggestions that allowing the firm to help build the network could prompt Washington to rethink its existing intelligence sharing relationship with the UK.
Donald Trump, the US President, suggested during his state visit to Britain earlier this month that the two nations would come to an agreement about how to protect sensitive information if the government did contract work to Huawei.
Ahead of Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK at the start of June it had been suggested that the US would rethink intelligence sharing arrangements with Britain if Huawei was allowed to play a role in constructing the 5G network
The Trump administration, which has sanctioned Huawei and tried to block it buying US goods, has told allies not to use its 5G technology and equipment.
Huawei has repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing.
The ambassador’s comments came as Jeremy Wright, the Digital Secretary, said the UK would take into account US concerns about Huawei.
He said: ‘I don’t think it would be realistic not to recognise that, when you have a hugely interconnected sector, when you have a situation where even Huawei equipment has U.S. componentry and IP in it, you can’t disregard what the U.S. administration decide to do.
‘They are all factors to be considered and we are considering them.’