China’s ambassador says UK should resist pressures in Huawei case

In this file photo taken on March 06, 2019 a staff member of Huawei uses her mobile phone at the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong province. (AFP photo)

China’s ambassador to the UK has urged London to observe its national interests and resist external pressure while dealing with a case related to the involvement of Chinese telecommunication company Huawei in Britain’s future internet network.

Liu Xiaoming said on Sunday that Beijing expected the British government to make the “right decision independently” over the suppliers, including the China-based Huawei, for the upcoming 5G communications network in the UK.

The plea comes amid a row in the UK over leaked secret government discussions on whether Huawei should be involved in the project.

Some believe several anti-China ministers in the government of Prime Minister Theresa May have deliberately leaked the details of the meeting to block her decision to give Huawei a limited role in the project.

They say the ministers have leaked the discussion under direct pressure from the administration of US President Donald Trump, which has banned Huawei from a similar project in America.Without mentioning Washington, Liu said that the UK should observe its own interests while deciding on the issue.

“Countries of global influence, like the UK, make decisions independently and in accordance with their national interests,” said the ambassador, insisting that London should resist “protectionism,” an indirect jab aimed at Trump who has taken hostile trade policies against Chinese companies to protect American interests.

Liu further sought to allay concerns about security of the 5G technology in which China is a global pioneer.

“Huawei has had a good track record on security over the years ... The company has been working hard to improve its technology and to enhance the security and reliability of its equipment,” he said.