BORIS Johnson is under pressure to decide on Huawei’s 5G involvement as the technology giant’s founder hit back at the US ‘campaign’ against the firm, the Telegraph reports.
We have consistently argued on TCW that Theresa May, who initiated the controversy in Britain, was putting Huawei before the country’s security.
We reported too on the argument that broke out over it last summer after she sacked Huawei’s main dissenter, the then Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. The row flared between Huawei’s main enablers – Civil Service boss Sir Mark Sedwill, Philip Hammond, David Liddington and Greg Clark – and those against it, including Liam Fox, Sajid Javid and Jeremy Hunt.
Bruce Newsome also made the case on TCW that, as Britain is not a low-capacity country, it doesn’t need Huawei – we have our own suppliers, and could call for bids from suppliers in allied states.
With May now gone and several of those batting for Huawei also out of politics, why is the Huawei deal on the table when there is so much expert opinion warning against it? Could the answer lie with some of the personnel involved, their vested interests dating back to 2011 and David Cameron’s government? The former civil servants employed by Huawei and who remain on its board and executive suite?
You can read of the interplay of interests here. And you can find an overall reprise of the Huawei scandal here. Everything indicates another major May misjudgment. Last June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned her that choosing Huawei ‘will impede the United States’ ability to share certain information within trusted networks’ and that, ‘This is just what China wants – to divide Western alliances’.
He added: ‘China steals intellectual property for military purposes. It wants to dominate AI, space technology, ballistic missiles and many other areas.’ He asked rhetorically: ‘Why would anyone grant such power to a regime that has already grossly violated cyberspace?’ He asked also whether Margaret Thatcher would have allowed China ‘to control the internet of the future’.
He is not alone. Britain’s partners in the English-speaking Five Eyes intelligence alliance – the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – are appalled at the UK’s stance. But Mrs May has been intransigent. Now Boris Johnson, instead of taking advantage of her departure, appears to be dithering.
Last week, a delegation of senior US officials made a last-ditch attempt to stop the deal by presenting a dossier of evidence to ministers. Should they be heeded and what is stopping Boris from aborting May’s deal?