China warned of ‘consequences’ today and accused the UK of bowing to US pressure as ministers prepare to drop Huawei from the UK’s 5G network.
Beijing’s ambassador Liu Xiaoming said shutting out the company due to the US imposing sanctions would show Britain no longer has an ‘independent’ policy.
He insisted the UK will have to pay more for the crucial telecoms technology if it shuns Huawei, and added: ’You cannot have a golden era if you treat us as an enemy.’
The sabre-rattling came amid growing signs that the government will U-turn to axe the firm from 5G after an intelligence report warned the security risks are now too great.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed this morning that he had received the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) assessment, and the US decision to levy sanctions on Huawei will have a ‘significant impact’ on its reliability.
Although no final decisions have been taken, expectations are rising that ministers will announce proposals this month to strip out the company’s kit from the wider UK telecoms network by 2029.
However, dozens of Conservative MPs want the government to go further and complete the process by the end of this parliament in 2024.
Huawei technology will be dumped from Britain’s 5G network due to fears over security risks
Beijing’s ambassador Liu Xiaoming (file picture) said shutting out the company due to the US imposing sanctions would show Britain no longer has an ‘independent’ policy
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed this morning that he had received the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) assessment, and the action by America will have a ‘significant impact’ on Huawei’s reliability
China accuses the UK of ‘gross interference’ in Hong Kong row
Beijing’s ambassador to the UK has accused the British Government of a ‘gross interference in China‘s internal affairs’ after Boris Johnson offered up to three million Hong Kongers a route to citizenship.
Mr Johnson announced the move last week after China pressed ahead with imposing a controversial national security law on Hong Kong.
But Liu Xiaoming today defended the legislation as he suggested the UK Government was guilty of ‘political manipulation’ in its criticism of China’s actions.
He also claimed some politicians in the UK view Beijing as a ‘threat’ as he said ‘if you want to make China a hostile country you have to bear the consequences’.
The broadside from Mr Liu represented the latest salvo in an ongoing war of words between the UK and China as relations continue to deteriorate.
Downing Street hit back at the ambassador’s comments and said while the UK and China have a ‘strong and constructive relationship’ in many areas ‘this relationship does not come at any price’.
Huawei’s links to the Chinese state have been causing increasing ructions among Tories and security experts.
The company furiously denies being controlled by Beijing, but Foreign Affairs Committee chair Tom Tugendhat and former leader Iain Duncan Smith are among the senior figures calling for a tougher approach.
At an online press conference today, Ambassador Liu sought to dismiss fears that Huawei’s involvement allows the Chinese state a backdoor access into mobile networks.
He also accused some British politicians of regarding China as a ‘threat’ or a ‘hostile country’.
‘We want to be your friend, we want to be your partner, but if you want to make China a hostile country you have to bear the consequences,’ he said.
Mr Liu said ‘getting rid’ of Huawei would sends out ‘a very wrong message’. ‘It means you succumb to foreign pressure and you cannot make your own independent foreign policy,’ he said.
In another swipe, he added: ‘If the UK chooses to pay a high price for poorer quality, or less quality, it is up to you.’
Huawei vice president Victor Zhang said the consequences of the sanctions were as yet unclear.
‘We are working closely with our customers to find ways of managing the proposed US restrictions so the UK can maintain its current lead in 5G. As ever, we remain open to discussions with the Government,’ he said.
‘We believe it is too early to determine the impact of the proposed restrictions, which are not about security, but about market position.’
Lord Mandelson, the Labour former minister who is bidding to become the World Trade Organisation’s director-general, said the sanctions had been a victory for the States.
‘We have to understand this is fundamentally not a question of security, it’s a commercial war between the US and China,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
‘President Trump said he wanted to demolish Huawei and he’s doing so through very draconian sanctions, and we’re collateral damage in that.
‘The Prime Minister would never have given the original go-ahead to the use of Huawei equipment if he was giving China a backdoor to our 5G network, but the point now is the agencies are being required by the Government to provide a cover for the change of position and they can do this because, operationally, Huawei has been disabled by the US sanctions, and that is a very heavy defeat by this Chinese company.’
In an article for the Financial Times, former MI6 chief Sir John wrote: ‘There are now sound technical reasons for the UK to change January’s decision, which would have allowed Huawei to have an up to 35 per cent stake in the UK’s 5G market, and exclude the company instead.’
Ministers are set to be asked to approve a ban on the purchase of any new Huawei kit by the end of this year in a dramatic shift.
The National Cyber Security revealed that Huawei’s products are not secure after the US issued new sanctions against the firm, meaning its microchips are unsafe
Mr Dowden, who has oversight of the NCSC, is also preparing to recommend that Huawei technology is stripped out of all Britain’s telecom networks, possibly by the end of 2029.
However, a 60-strong group of Tory MPs want the timetable speeded up to 2024.
A source close to the rebels told the Telegraph it is ‘unconscionable’ for Huawei equipment to remain in use by the next election.
‘The Government can forget about its legislative agenda until it’s sorted out the China question,’ the source said.
The NCSC review was launched after US sanctions outlawed any US patented technology used in the firm’s microchips.
Intelligence officials believe this will render them unsafe because Asian alternatives – considered less trustworthy – will have to be used instead.
The NCSC – part of GCHQ, the Government’s intelligence and security organisation – has long-standing concerns that after seven years they may not be able to minimise the security risks of using Huawei equipment.
Spy chiefs blamed uncertainty over fast-evolving technologies.
A source privy to a conversation among spy chiefs about the seven-year time limit told the Mail: ‘They can only guarantee the security of the network for seven years.’
Mr Dowden told LBC Radio this morning: ‘In relation to Huawei, we’ve had these US sanctions that were imposed a couple of months ago. I’ve asked the National Cyber Security Centre to analyse the impact of them.
‘It seems likely they’re going to have a significant impact on the reliability of Huawei, I’ve just received that advice, I will be discussing that with the Prime Minister and if there’s any change of policy arising from it I will make an announcement.
‘I would certainly aim to do that before Parliament rises for the summer recess, so later this month.’
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday that the Government wanted to be confident the network was ‘secure’ when it made a decision about Huawei.
Intelligence chiefs at NCSC – part of GCHQ, has long-standing concerns that they may not be able to minimise the security risks surrounding Huawei after seven years
He said the US sanctions meant that ‘UK intelligence services can no longer provide assurances’ that Chinese equipment is safe to use in the UK’s network.
US officials have warned repeatedly that they believe Huawei could be used as a backdoor for spying by the Chinese state.
Huawei hit back yesterday. Spokesman Paul Harrison accused the UK of allowing President Donald Trump to dictate its policy.
And Victor Zhang, vice-president of Huawei, said: ‘All our products and solutions use technology and components over which the UK government has strict oversight. Our technology is already extensively used in 5G networks across the country
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China warns of 'consequences' and accuses UK of bowing to US pressure as ministers prepares to drop Huawei from 5G - but dozens of Tories say 2029 deadline for axing Chinese technology from UK telecoms network is not fast enough have 1544 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at July 6, 2020. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.