London(ANN)-Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is considering terminating the role of Chinese technology giant Huawei’s role in the development of the UK’s 5G network even before it began.
The PM’s apparent change of heart follows months of intense lobbying by anti-Chinese elements in the Tory party who have tried to exploit the coronavirus crisis to downgrade British ties with Beijing.
The Telegraph is reporting today that the PM has “instructed” officials to draw up plans that would see China’s role in the UK’s 5G network “scaled down to zero” by 2023.
According to the Telegraph, Johnson’s imminent decision is at least in part motivated by a desire to “ramp up” trade talks with the US following faltering post-Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Meanwhile, the Guardian (May 22) reports that the PM has been “forced” to back down in the face of a determined backbench rebellion opposed to Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network.
Johnson originally agreed to a “limited” role for Huawei in late January whereby the Chinese technology giant would be barred from the 5G network’s “core” and limited to only 35 percent of the “periphery”.
But the Tory rebels vowed to carry on opposing any involvement by the Chinese in the 5G network even after their first attempt at sabotage – in the form of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill – was defeated in the House of Commons in early March.
But it would now appear the anti-China faction in the Tory party, led by the chairman of the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee, Tom Tugendhat, has succeeded.
The Path to Zero is exactly what we’ve been asking for. Im glad the gov is listening. Let’s hope this happens https://t.co/7noJTyvHdZ
— Tom Tugendhat (@TomTugendhat) May 23, 2020
But the anti-China faction in the Tory party is unlikely to be appeased by this apparent success as their goals go much further than ending Huawei’s role in Britain’s 5G infrastructure.
Having set up a front organization in the form of the pseudo-scholarly “China Research Group” the anti-China faction in the Conservative party is intent on minimizing the UK’s entire engagement with China primarily through propaganda and informational warfare campaigns.
Our news summary:
* Boris Johnson promises measures to protect UK technology base
* White House publishes new Strategic Approach to China
* China’s $1.4 Trillion Plan to Overtake the US in Tech
* Tensions escalate over Taiwan & in Hong Kong https://t.co/cY7OxgM5SA
— China Research Group (@ChinaResearchGp) May 21, 2020