WASHINGTON, July 15 — The United States hailed Britain’s decision yesterday to order the phased removal of China’s Huawei telecoms giant from its 5G network, following months of pressure from Washington.
“We welcome news that the United Kingdom plans to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
“We will continue to work with our British friends on fostering a secure and vibrant 5G ecosystem, which is critical to transatlantic security and prosperity,” he said.
The British ban, which came despite warnings of retaliation by Beijing, handed a victory to US President Donald Trump’s administration, which has been seeking to isolate the Chinese telecom titan.
Trump’s national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, wrote on Twitter that Britain’s move showed a “growing international consensus” that Huawei and other companies allegedly linked to the Chinese state “pose a threat to national security.”
While the European Union has resisted a sweeping ban on Huawei, Pompeo highlighted decisions against the company in a number of European states.
He also pointed to companies in Australia, India, Japan and South Korea that have decided to be “clean” from Huawei.
“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.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially resisted, allowing Huawei to roll out a new high-speed network in Britain in January.
But US sanctions in May blocking Huawei’s access to US chips for the 5G networks brought a change of heart in London. — AFP