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US reportedly lobbies UK over Huawei ahead of imminent 5G decision

US diplomats have apparently renewed their lobbying of the UK government to ban Huawei from its 5G network, with the final decision expected to be made this month.

The news comes courtesy of Reuters, which has been chatting to people with knowledge of the matter, no less. These learned folk reckon the US has embarked upon one final push to persuade the UK government to ban Huawei kit from being used in the UK 5G network. It’s not clear whether the US would be alright with Huawei RAN gear or if it’s hoping for an outright ban at every level.

This pressure will be delivered in person by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab when the latter pops over to Washington tomorrow. Reuters got a pointless comment from the UK government that amounted to ‘we’re still thinking about it’ and the usual Huawei statement saying it doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.

The most overt form of pressure the US is placing on its allies concerns intelligence and security cooperation. From the US point of view, if it thinks an ally’s domestic networks are vulnerable to being hacked by geopolitical adversaries, such as China, then it’s going to have second thoughts about sharing sensitive intelligence with them.

On top of that the new UK government is under extra pressure as it will finally start the process of leaving the European Union at the end of this month. Distancing itself from Europe means the UK needs to reinforce its relationships with other friendly countries, of which the US is by far the most important.

So this decision is about far more than just an appraisal of the security risks associated with allowing Chinese vendors to be involved in the UK 5G network. UK PM Boris Johnson apparently has a good relationship with US President Trump, but that could deteriorate rapidly if he is seen to be reluctant to accommodate requests such as these. That could lead to a cooling of diplomatic relations in general, less talk of great new trade deals, etc. No pressure then.

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2 comments

  1. Avatar Unknown 09/01/2020 @ 9:36 am

    US has become a beggar and begging every country to ban Huawei. No other country is more miserable at the moment

  2. Avatar sfc 10/01/2020 @ 12:13 am

    huawei is too secure to be spied by US.that’s why US wants it to be banned.The whole world will never forget the Snowden case.US even spy on allies .

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