British minister urges caution over Huawei role in 5G network


The US, Australia and New Zealand say the Chinese firm is a security risk because of its ties to the state.

In an online briefing for journalists, Mr Strayer said that even allowing an "untrustworthy" operator into the "edges" of the network created risks of espionage or sabotage.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged by members of her own party and senior intelligence officials to reverse a provisional decision to allow the Chinese technology giant Huawei a role in building parts of Britain's 5G mobile network.

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"Huawei has had a good track record on security over the years, having taken the initiative to invest in a Cyber Security Evaluation Centre which employs an all-British monitoring team". They can be managed, provided countries and companies work together.

Meanwhile, Britain's top civil servant has demanded ministers co-operate with his inquiry into the leaking of discussions about Huawei at the National Security Council.

Sources told Reuters on Wednesday Britain's National Security Council (NSC) had made a decision to bar Huawei from all core parts of the country's 5G network and restrict its access to non-core parts.

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The U.S. National Security Agency has warned that approving Huawei's involvement risks handing China a "loaded gun".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the United Kingdom should exercise "a degree of caution" about the role of large Chinese firms such as Huawei.

He suggested that Britain must resist pressure and decide "independently based on its national interests". Huawei has vehemently denied the accusations.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Beijing's ambassador Liu Xiaoming questioned whether the United Kingdom would "choose independent decision-making or not".

Monday did not mark the first occasion whereon the US attempted threatening its allies into compliance on the 5G strategy front; the Trump administration already tried a similar moved aimed at Germany in particular several weeks back but saw the effort backfire in a rather spectacular fashion.

It's decision time for Britain on China's Huawei and the 5G build-out.

The dispute over Huawei is playing out during a visit to China by Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, who's hoping to expand economic ties with China ready for when Britain leaves the European Union.