The United Kingdom has approved the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
According to a report from Aljazeera, this policy reversal threatens to damage the UK’s relations with the China and carries a big cost for UK mobile providers that have relied on Huawei equipment for nearly 20 years.
Oliver Dowden, the UK’s digital secretary, announced the move in Parliament on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson chaired meetings with his Cabinet and the National Security Council.
“From the end of this year, telecoms providers must not buy any 5G equipment from Huawei,” he told MPs.
In their reaction, Huawei said;
“This disappointing decision is bad news for anyone in the UK with a mobile phone. It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide. Instead of ‘levelling up’, the government is levelling down and we urge them to reconsider.
“Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicised, this is about US trade policy and not security.”
Johnson angered Trump and upset some members of his own Conservative party by allowing the Chinese 5G leader to help roll out the UK’s speedy new data network in January.
The UK was then completing its departure from the European Union and looking to establish strong ties with powerful Asian economies that could fulfil Johnson’s vision of a “global Britain”.
But the Trump administration told the UK government that its decision imperilled intelligence sharing and could even result in the relocation of some US fighter jets from England.