China Inflames UK Split From US Over Huawei, As Security Leak Is Investigated
China’s ambassador to the UK recently wrote a letter to the Sunday Telegraph that experts consider to be an attempt to fuel tensions between the UK and US governments over the potential security risks of allowing the use of Huawei technology for the establishment of 5G networks. The US has boycotted the Chinese tech giant over security concerns and has been pushing its allies to do the same in order to prevent Huawei from providing the Chinese government with access to the data and systems of foreign governments. However, the campaign has not been highly successful, with major European allies including Italy and Germany resisting an outright boycott.
According to supposed leaks from a recent meeting of the UK National Security Council, Prime Minister Theresa May agreed to the involvement of Huawei in establishing non-core parts of the country’s 5G networks, even though senior ministers (and the US government) advised her against this. This news created divisions within the UK government.
Analysts believe the letter by China’s ambassador is an attempt to take advantage of this situation. The ambassador wrote that “[c]ountries of global influence, like the UK, make decisions independently and in accordance with their national interests,” and that “[w]hen it comes to the establishment of the new 5G network, the UK is in the position to do the same again by resisting pressure, working to avoid interruptions and making the right decision independently based on its national interests and in line with its need for long-term development.”