Is Widespread Suspicion Of Huawei Justified?

China's ambassador to London has described demands that Chinese telecoms giant Huawei must not have a part in the proposed 5G network as a "kind of witch-hunt".  Liu Xiaoming told the BBC that Huawei is privately owned and "nothing to do with the Chinese government".

A group of senior British Conservatives MPs have now written to their fellow Tory MPs expressing concern over the government’s decision to allow Chinese technology company Huawei to have a role in building the UK’s 5G network.

Ex- Conservative Party leader, Ian Duncan Smith who is one the signatories, said there was cross-party concern about the issue. The letter, which was also signed by former ministers including Owen Paterson, David Davis and Damian Green, said some MPs were working to find a better solution to the 5G issue.

The senior Tories want “high-risk” vendors to be ruled out immediately or phased out over time. The letter states: “We are seeking to identify a means by which we ensure that only trusted vendors are allowed as primary contractors into our critical national infrastructure. Trusted vendors would be companies from countries that have fair market competition, rule of law, respect human rights, data privacy and non-coercive government agencies.”

They called on the government to rule out technology from “untrusted, high-risk vendors” in the UK’s infrastructure, or at least to ensure that future legislation includes “sunset clauses” to limit the length of time such companies can be used.

Recently President Trump reportedly had a heated conversation with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson after the United Kingdom allowed the Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei to have a role in the UK's 5G cellphone networks. The Trump administration has long opposed Huawei having any stake in next-generation cellular networks because of national security concerns.

The decision rejected longstanding US concerns about the Chinese tech giant. President Trump was reportedly furious, according to the person, who said Trump berated Johnson over the move, which he characterised as a national security threat.

The White House and Downing Street both declined comment and all they said was, “Today, President Donald J Trump spoke with Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. The two leaders discussed critical regional and bilateral issues, including telecommunications security.” Since the call, the two sides have agreed to limit the use of Huawei products in the UK. 

CNN:      The Hill:        Independent:          BBC:         Guardian

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