'Banning Huawei discriminatory and protectionist,' China tells France

Clay Curtis
February 13, 2020

A group of senior Conservatives has written to Tory MPs expressing concern over the government's decision to allow the China tech giant Huawei to have a role in building the UK's 5G network.

Last month the government said "high-risk vendors" such as Huawei would be allowed into the non-sensitive parts of the 5G network, although their involvement will be capped at 35 per cent.

Speaking at a conference in Washington, Barr said the United States and its allies should be "actively considering" highly unusual proposals for "American ownership of a controlling stake" in the European vendors, "either directly or through a consortium of private American and allied companies".

One of the main concerns about Huawei's growing prominence in global 5G has been their access to sensitive information and ability to assist Chinese government spying.

Commenting on the fact that Huawei was not banned, he said that the country has "ambitious plans", but still criticised the 35 per cent cap that Huawei now has.

If, for security reasons, the French government really needs to impose constraints on operators, it should establish transparent criteria in this regard and treat all businesses in the same way.

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He went on to say the immediate family of the Prime Minister are all involved in projects including China and the Huawei network.

Wall Street Journal reports that United States is planning to invest in Huawei's competitors to take down the smartphone giant.

But the senior Conservatives have said there are alternatives to the Chinese firm. "Trusted vendors would be companies from countries that have fair market competition, rule of law, respect human rights, data privacy and non-coercive government agencies". "We hope that our two countries can maintain mutual trust and further strengthen it by cooperating in 5G", the embassy said.

Pressed on whether the Huawei decision could be a deal breaker in Brexit trade talks, Mr Pence told CNBC: "We'll see". In addition, the ambassador complained about individual French cities banning Huawei from local networking equipment contracts.

For the past year, the USA has been pressing European allies to block Huawei from their 5G projects over fears that China's government could use the equipment for espionage.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Chinese embassy in Paris said that it was "deeply shocked and concerned" over recent media reports that the French government is planning to take restrictive measures against the Chinese company in the deployment of 5G mobile technology in France.

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