China says UK ban on Huawei 'severely' damages investment confidence
Updated 20:51, 16-Jul-2020

Britain's "discriminatory" ban on Huawei has severely damaged China's investment confidence in the country, China's Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday, adding it will take necessary measures to defend Chinese firms' legal rights.

Gao Feng, a spokesperson from the ministry, said China firmly opposes the UK's move, which seriously violates the World Trade Organization rules and damages the confidence of Chinese investment in the UK.

It also affects Sino-British economic and trade cooperation, and damages the credibility and reputation of the UK in the international trading system, Gao told reporters at a press conference. 

China is assessing the situation and will take the necessary measures to firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, Gao added. 

On Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that UK's decision was made on highly politicizing commercial and technological issues, and has clearly threatened the safety of Chinese investments in the UK.

She continued that China will fully and seriously assess the incident. The spokesperson's comments came after the UK's decision to ban Huawei from its 5G network on Tuesday.

The British government decided on Tuesday to ban its telecom operators from purchasing new 5G equipment from Huawei by the end of 2020, while giving them until 2027 to remove Huawei equipment already implemented in Britain's 5G network.

Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming earlier commented about UK's decision on Huawei and said it was a "disappointing and wrong decision."

"It has become questionable whether the UK can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries," he tweeted.

A staff member tests the speed with a Huawei 5G mobile phone at Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain, January 28, 2020. /Xinhua

A staff member tests the speed with a Huawei 5G mobile phone at Huawei 5G Innovation and Experience Center in London, Britain, January 28, 2020. /Xinhua

British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the ban will delay the UK-wide rollout of the new 5G network, which offers vastly higher capabilities than previous wireless technologies, by up to three years and add an additional 2.5 billion U.S. dollars to the cost.

UK made a nonpartisan decision in January allowing Huawei a "limited role" in building its 5G network with a 35 percent cap. It explained Tuesday's U-turn decision was prompted by sanctions imposed on Huawei by Washington preventing the Chinese company from using American components.

Trump on UK's Huawei ban: "I did it myself"

Appearing before reporters in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was responsible for the UK's decision to ban Huawei. 

"We convinced many countries, many countries – I did this myself for the most part – not to use Huawei, because we think it's an unsafe security risk, it's a big security risk," Trump said. 

"I talked many countries out of using it: if they want to do business with us, they can't use it. Just today, I believe that UK announced that they're not going to be using it."

Hua said this remark once again proved the relevant bans on Huawei had nothing to do with national security.

"This once again allows everyone to see clearly the one who is issuing threats here, there and everywhere is perhaps not China but the U.S.," she said.

Britain also denied Trump's account, saying it was not him alone that was responsible for the ban. 

Asked about the remark, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News: "Well, we all know Donald Trump don't we."


Read more:

UK warned banning Huawei will delay 5G rollout and cost billions

Analysts say that London's recoil from the prior stance could fetter Britain's plans in staying competitive in the hyper-connected and hyper-broadband world, and cautioned that the political decision could have deeper implications to the global and UK economy.

(Video cover: An engineer from EE, the wireless network provider owned by BT Group, checks 5G masts and Huawei Technologies, London, UK, March 15, 2019. /VCG)


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