The United Kingdom and the Huawei 5G fine balance between America and China
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom (UK) sought to placate America and China. Of course, it appears that America will be slightly aggrieved and disappointed while China is more upbeat. Either way, the UK sought a fine balancing act between both nations.
Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary of the UK, uttered, “Nothing in this review affects this country’s ability to share highly-sensitive intelligence data over highly-secure networks both within the UK and our partners, including the Five Eyes.”
Raab is seeking to reassure America because Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, implied that concerns over Huawei equipment would prevent America from sharing essential information. This relates to national security and the sharing of intelligence. However, the UK is stipulating that Huawei will not be involved in “critical information systems.”
China will feel more placated. Equally, it highlights the growing importance of this nation to the UK. After all, with the UK pulling out of the European Union (EU), then speculation was that America would increase its power within the body politic of the UK. Yet, it is abundantly clear that Johnson understands the importance of China and that he must consider all options available.
The BBC reports, “Beijing had warned the UK there could be “substantial” repercussions to other trade and investment plans had the company been banned outright.”
Reuters reports, “The United States had repeatedly warned London against allowing Huawei into 5G, arguing that the distinction between “edge” and “core” will blur as data is processed throughout 5G networks, making it difficult to contain any security risks.”
Despite negative voices in America, the UK stipulated several curtailing measures of Huawei. Thus, the UK announced restrictions to placate nations that share sensitive information. Hence, Huawei will be forbidden from operating in areas of national security including military and nuclear facilities. Similarly, the Chinese company will be banned from the “core” of the network 5G systems. Also, the UK will cap the market of Huawei to 35%.
The vice-president of Huawei, Victor Zhang, pointedly said, “We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operators in the UK for more than 15 years. We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally.”
However, Tom Cotton, a Republican senator in America, is utterly dismayed by the decision. He uttered, “I fear London has freed itself from Brussels only to cede sovereignty to Beijing.”
The Independent reports, “Boris Johnson has risked the fury of Donald Trump by giving the go-ahead for Huawei to help build the UK’s 5G and full-fibre broadband networks, but with restrictions.”
However, it appears that Johnson doesn’t want to swap the EU for either America or China. On the contrary, the UK understands the importance of America and China respectfully. At the same time, the UK is an independent nation and must focus on assisting the domestic economy and utilizing major technology. Therefore, the decision by the Johnson government is based on multiple factors and the need to support high technology and innovation.
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