UK-China ties freeze with debate over Huawei, Hong Kong
Hostility over China’s new security law for Hong Kong has resulted in ties between the UK and China being frozen. Britain decided to offer refuge to millions of inhabitants of the former UK colony, however, the policy faced criticism from China. Chinese officials have threatened consequences if Britain decides to cut Chinese technology giant Huawei. Huawei has been under scrutiny by several Western countries for its ties to the Chinese government posing national security risks.
Huawei is present in Britain’s critical telecoms infrastructure, and its removal could be costly for both sides. The rapid increase in tensions points to a policy shift in the UK to a much tougher stance against China, following the US’s lead. A growing number of officials in the Conservative Party, lead by Boris Johnson, have taken a deeper look at the two country’s ties, concluding that Britain has been complacent and naive about the relationship.