Britain Grants China's Huawei Limited
Role in 5G Network Rollout|
January 29, 2020
Britain will allow China's Huawei
Technologies Co. to help build the country's next-generation cellular
network, dealing a blow to a U.S. campaign to launch a worldwide boycott
of the telecom equipment giant.
The British government said Tuesday it would permit Huawei to build less
critical parts of the country's new high-speed 5G wireless network.
The U.S. has campaigned against Huawei for more than a year, noting
concerns about national security and the Chinese firm's relations with
the country's Communist Party. On Tuesday, the White House said U.S.
President Donald Trump discussed "critical regional and bilateral
issues, including telecommunications security," during a phone call with
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
"The United States is disappointed by the U.K.'s decision," said a
senior Trump administration official Tuesday. "There is no safe option
for untrusted vendors to control any part of a 5G network."
The U.S. official said the U.S. is willing to work with Britain to
exclude "untrusted vendor components from 5G networks."
Without mentioning any companies, Britain said it would exclude
"high-risk" companies from providing "core" components of the new
network. It also said it would permit high-risk suppliers to supply up
to 35-percent of the new network's less risky parts of its
Britain's announcement comes a day before U.S. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo is scheduled to meet in London with Johnson. The announcement
puts Johnson in an awkward position, as he needs the Trump
administration to quickly reach a trade agreement after Brexit.
5G rollout is particularly critical for Britain, as it leaves the
European Union with hopes of positioning its economy as a beneficiary of
U.S. officials have also voiced frustration with decisions by some
European nations to grant Huawei some access in the rollout of their 5G
Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, the
U.S. defense secretary should brief Congressional defense committees by
March 15 on the implementation of plans for fifth-generation information
and communications technologies, including steps to work with U.S.
allies and partners to protect critical networks and supply chains.
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