China’s ambassador to the U.K., Liu Xiaoming, said that London’s decision to reverse previously agreed upon plans to grant Huawei a leading role in their development of 5G was "seriously poisoning" the U.K.-China relationship, Sky News reported Thursday.
Liu said that the U.K. is attempting to interfere with the internal affairs of the Chinese government, by openly condemning the recent national security laws established in Hong Kong and their suspension of the extradition treaty.
He further accused the U.K. of confusing “right from wrong,” “recklessly” slandering “China’s Xinjiang-related policies” in regards to the Uighurs and calling their actions in Xinjiang a “so-called “human rights issue.”
Liu also warned the U.K. government against “Cold War” actors and their “remarks of anti-China forces in and outside the UK,” alluding to the Trump administration who has been vocal in their disapproval of China’s actions regarding the coronavirus, the race to 5G and reported human rights abuses committed against the Uighur population.
Another Chinese official condemned the U.S.’s actions in persuading countries not to allow Huawei to assist in their development of 5G.
“The real reason behind Pompeo's animosity towards Chinese companies has nothing to do with national security or democracy, freedoms, fairness or reciprocity,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin told reporters Thursday.
“It's just because they are Chinese companies and also frontrunners in their lines of business.”
U.S. security officials, largely led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have cited concerns regarding the Chinese government’s potential ability to demand access from the Huawei’s foreign networks that the telecom company would theoretically have had a hand in building.
“Countries need to be able to trust that 5G equipment and software will not threaten national security, economic security, privacy, intellectual property, or human rights,” Pompeo said in a press conference just days before the U.K. rescinded their agreement with Huawei.
Chinese officials are not incorrect in blaming the U.S. government for the U.K.’s change of heart.
British officials said that their decision was largely based on pressure from the U.S. and sanctions that made it difficult for countries to ensure the security of equipment being developed.
The U.S. had also threatened to sever intelligence sharing if the U.K. proceeded with Huawei, citing security concerns relating to China’s potential surveillance and monitoring capabilities.
“Pompeo has been claiming that by excluding Huawei, countries are joining the ranks of ‘clean countries’,” Wenbin said Thursday. “The so-called "clean countries" he has been touting is nothing but a code name of double standards.”
The U.K. along with Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Romania, and Sweden have heeded Pompeo’s warnings of potential security threats and banned all Huawei products from future 5G networks.
“Our vigorous diplomacy has helped lead an international awakening to the threat of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Senators, the tide is turning,” Pompeo said in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Thursday, while explaining that countries around the globe are supporting U.S. initiatives in preventing the Chinese tech giant from developing further.