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‘America’s dupe:’ China slams UK over ban on Huawei

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A shop for Chinese telecom giant Huawei features a red sticker reading “5G,” in Beijing, China, on May 25, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

China says the remark by US President Donald Trump that he personally convinced the UK government to ban Chinese technology giant Huawei’s 5G network equipment shows that the ban is politically motivated and has nothing to do with security.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a daily news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday that the comment showed that commercial and trade matters had been politicized.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK government’s decision to ban Huawei from Britain’s 5G network from the end of 2027 on Tuesday.

Shortly afterwards, Trump claimed he had been responsible for that decision.

“We convinced many countries, many countries, I did this myself for the most part, not to use Huawei, because we think it is an unsafe security risk,” Trump said. “It’s a big security risk and I talked many countries out of using it. If they want to do business with us, they can’t use it.”

Hua said Trump’s comments proved that the UK’s decision “is not about national security but political manipulation.”

She said China would take all the necessary measures to safeguard its interests following the British decision.

“China will fully and solemnly assess this matter, and will take a series of necessary measures to safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests,” Hua said.

“Any decisions and actions (by Britain) must come at a cost,” the Chinese official added, without elaborating.

She said Britain acted “in coordination with the US to discriminate against, suppress, and eliminate” Huawei, accusing London of becoming “America’s dupe.”

The ban came nearly two weeks after London described Huawei as a potentially hostile state entity.

Huawei — considered the world leader in superfast 5G equipment and the world’s number two smartphone producer — has been under relentless pressure from Washington, which has lobbied allies worldwide to avoid the company’s telecom gear over alleged security concerns in a wider US-China trade war.

Trump’s administration has blacklisted Huawei to block the company from getting any US telecom equipment contracts and prevent the transfer of American technology to the Chinese firm.

Washington accuses Huawei of helping Beijing spy on communications from the countries that use its products and services. Both the company and the Chinese government have rejected that allegation.

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