Boris Johnson faced quite the conundrum. Get a cheap technological boost from China, or remain in close cooperation with US intelligence? Those were the stakes set by Washington and Beijing, and the British PM made his choice this morning … America first, or at least second.
The news will please the Trump administration, which has not just repeatedly warned about the security risks of Huawei’s integration into Western 5G, but has also sanctioned the company. The US had pressured the UK by saying that its communications infrastructure would be so insecure with Huawei even as a limited partner that sharing intel might become impossible:
The United Kingdom announced Tuesday that Huawei would be banned from its high-speed 5G telecommunications network, in a decision that will anger China but please the United States.
The role of the Chinese tech giant has become a central theme in London’s increasingly uneasy relationship with Beijing.
The U.K. has faced months of pressure from Washington, which says Huawei is a security risk because the company could be used by the Chinese government to spy on the West. Both China and Huawei have repeatedly denied this.
“There’s no such thing as a perfectly secure network,” Media Secretary Oliver Dowden told the House of Commons, but he said that the U.K. had to make sure its system was “as secure as it possibly can be.”