When is 5G coming to the UK
According to US demands : Why the UK is excluding Huawei from the 5G expansion
Great Britain is tightening its course of demarcation against the communist regime of China. Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the National Security Council decided on Tuesday to exclude the Chinese telecom company Huawei from the 5G cellular network on the island.
From the beginning of next year, the purchase of new Huawei equipment will be banned, explained the media minister responsible for digital Oliver Dowden in the lower house. By 2027, all of the company's components are also expected to disappear from existing networks.
The Conservative government is thus reversing a decision made in January. A compromise that came about at the time identified the Chinese telecom giant as a "high-risk" provider and excluded Huawei from the core of security-relevant technology in the new network. However, a market share of up to 35 percent in network access was allowed, both in terms of software and physical infrastructure such as masts.
In the run-up to this decision, Prime Minister Johnson was apparently exposed to intensive, but ultimately unsuccessful lobbying work by US President Donald Trump. The US administration as well as Australia, which already excluded Huawei from the 5G network in 2018, have long viewed the company as a spy risk.
British rethinking is putting EU and Germany under pressure
Dowden cited the fact that Washington made it difficult for Huawei to gain access to American high tech in May as a decisive factor: This has fundamentally changed the situation. The British turnaround is likely to increase the pressure on the EU, and especially Germany, to rethink China's policy as well.
Minister Dowden put the cost of excluding Huawei - the company, which is heavily supported by Beijing, is considered a world market leader - at two billion pounds (around 2.2 billion euros); there will be a delay of up to three years for the introduction of the ultra-modern network. "Broader geo-strategic considerations" contributed to the decision, explained Dowden - an indication of the rapid deterioration in relations with Beijing.
Foreign politicians from all parties in London have been increasingly alarmed in recent months by the aggressive economic and foreign policy of the communist government of China. With regard to the initial concealment of the corona outbreak at the beginning of the year, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab spoke of "difficult questions" for the Beijing rulers.
The introduction of the new security law for Hong Kong caused outrage among the former colonial power. Prime Minister Johnson spoke of a "clear and grave violation" of the 1984 Joint Declaration, which guaranteed the peaceful surrender of all territories on July 1, 1997, and Hong Kong's political and economic autonomy until 2047. As a consequence, the government offered the residents of the former crown colony simplified naturalization.
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Former Tory party leader and foreign minister Lord William Hague believes that the earlier widespread hope of a democratization of the Beijing regime has not been fulfilled: "China does not play by our rules." The West must therefore become independent of Chinese technology.
Hague is not only thinking of Huawei, but also, for example, the further development of batteries, for the production of which Chinese state-owned companies buy up rare earths on a large scale. Hague is one of the growing numbers of China skeptics in the Conservative Party, not least on the back benches of the House of Commons; these are likely to have contributed to the government's change of course.
Competitors are critical of the planned Huawei ban
Should Beijing follow through on the threat of “countermeasures” announced by the London ambassador Liu Xiaoming, the UK will have to dress warmly. According to a report by the think tank Niesr on Monday, the People's Republic is Great Britain's sixth largest export market and even ranks fourth for imports. Last year alone, telecom equipment was worth around 6.6 billion euros.
Chinese companies have invested billions on the island; Beijing's state-owned investment fund holds a significant stake in the water utility Thames Water. A quarter of all international students whose billions in fees are maintained by British universities come from China.
The plan to ban Huawei from the entire telecom infrastructure in the country within seven years is viewed critically by important competitors. The CEO of British Telecom spoke of possible blackouts for its 24 million customers. "I don't think you can do that in less than ten years," Philip Jansen told the BBC.
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