The Daily Mail cited unnamed sources as saying that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s National Security Council is due to decide on allowing Huawei to take part in Britain’s 5G data network programme by the beginning of next week.
The sources claimed that the issue will be debated during a meeting of a secret group of senior Cabinet Ministers and security officials after preliminary discussions recommended that the government should exclude the Chinese tech giant from “core” aspects of the 5G network.
The ministers are expected to insist on the decision to allow Huawei to supply “non-core” parts, including antennae, for 5G, touted as high-speed mobile internet infrastructure.
Earlier, Victor Zhang, Huawei’s president of global government affairs, expressed confidence in an interview with Sky News that Britain will withstand “politically motivated” pressure from the US and allow the Chinese tech giant to take part in the development of the UK’s 5G programme.
US Warns Allies not to Cooperate With Huawei on 5G
The US refuses to cooperate with Huawei in the construction of its 5G networks citing spying concerns and urging all its allies to follow suit. While some countries, including Germany and France, have turned a deaf ear to Washington's pressure, several countries, namely Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, have bowed to US pressure and banned the tech giant from their 5G networks.
The British government, in turn, moved to delay its decision on whether to include Huawei in the UK’s 5G infrastructure, with British Culture and Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright stressing that until US policy is “clear” Britain will not make any conclusions on Huawei.
US Tightens Screws on Huawei
The developments were preceded by US President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka in June, during which Trump said that American suppliers would get the green light to sell components and spare parts to Huawei if there is no threat to US national security.
This followed the US Department of Commerce blacklisting Huawei Technologies and around 70 of its affiliates in May, in a move that prompted several major US corporations, such as Google and Microsoft to follow suit and sever ties with the Chinese tech giant.
The US claims that Huawei cooperates with the Chinese government, installing backdoors in its equipment for Beijing's espionage and cyberattacks - allegations that that both Beijing and Huawei have repeatedly denied.