Britain to remove Huawei from 5G by 2027

Cheryl Sanders
July 15, 2020

White House National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said Britain's action reflected a growing consensus that Huawei and other untrusted vendors posed a threat to national security because they remained "beholden to the Chinese Communist Party".

The U.S. has highlighted the treatment of Uyghur Muslims, who are subjected to forced labor, forced abortion and sterilization and other human rights abuses.

Washington previous year imposed restrictions on Huawei's access to American components and other technology.

The move represented a massive U-turn after Number 10 gave Huawei the green light in January to participate in building the infrastructure.

The sanctions represent yet another move in the rapidly deteriorating relationship between China and the U.S. Tensions were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Wuhan and was suspected of having been covered up by the Chinese authorities until it was too late to stop it from becoming a global crisis.

The British government has banned mobile providers from purchasing Huawei 5G equipment after December 31.

USA officials hailed Britain's decision, saying it showed a "growing worldwide consensus" that Huawei and other companies allegedly linked to the Chinese state pose a threat to national security.

The States of Guernsey say a decision over the use of Huawei to implement its 5G infrastructure will not slow planned improvements to the island's digital network.

She said the move was driven by political reasoning and not by national security concerns as she also said Beijing will act to safeguard its interests in the wake of the U-turn. Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

"Hua claimed London "(acted) in coordination with the United States to discriminate against, suppress and eliminate" Huawei, and accused Britain of becoming "America's dupe".

It remains to be seen if the move will satisfy Conservative backbench rebel MPs who have pressed the government to implement a complete ban such as in the USA and Australia.

"We convinced many countries - many countries - and 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.

"If you were to try and not have Huawei at all [in 5G], ideally, we'd want seven years and we could probably do it in five", BT's chief executive Philip Jansen told the BBC. If they want to do business with us, they can't use it.

"We will conduct a detailed review of what today's announcement means for our business here and will work with the United Kingdom government to explain how we can continue to contribute to a better connected Britain", said Brewster. "And that was up in the air for a long time, but they've decided".

He said the new guidelines also required all of Huawei's existing 5G gear to be stripped out "by 2027".

'Such retaliation should be public and painful for the UK.

On Tuesday, President Trump announced that he had signed an executive order that ends the US preferential treatment of Hong Kong in response to Beijing's incursions on freedom and human rights in the territory via its recently passed "national security" law.

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