The US State Department has accused the Chinese Government of bullying the UK with the threat of retaliatory action against UK businesses should Huawei’s 5G role be threatened.
In a statement from US State Department, the US Government has condemned alleged tactics from the Chinese Government. The assumed tactics see the Chinese Government pressurising the UK by threatening to punish UK bank HSBC and to break commitments to build nuclear power plants should Huawei’s role in providing equipment and services to the 5G build-out be compromised.
There is probably an element of truth to these claims, though they would never be confirmed through an official Government statement or position. And even before anyone asks, the US has resumed its self-appointed position as defender of global democracy against the scourge of communism.
The United States stands with the United Kingdom against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics. We stand ready to help our British friends build critical infrastructure. https://t.co/mFNBfMlTBk
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 9, 2020
The UK is perfectly capable of standing up to foreign Governments, and the presumptive position of protector the US is taking is of course quite belittling. Once again, the hawkish subconscious of the US is inflating egos and pushing the world towards conflict.
Of course, what should be worth stating is that the Chinese Government should of course be held accountable if the is any truth to these claims, but as a sovereign nation, the UK should be the master of its own fate. Pompeo should perhaps be reminded that he is Secretary of State for the US, not Secretary of State for Everywhere-except-China.
As it stands, Huawei’s role in the UK 5G economy is once again followed by a very bold question mark. There have been calls to reduce exposure to ‘high risk’ vendors in UK networks to 0% as a mid-term objective, while there have been reports the UK Government has been in talks with alternative vendors, Samsung and OpenRAN champion NEC.
Both elements are a threat to the continued success of Huawei in the UK. With these developments, it would surprise few is passive aggressive and indirect penalties have been implied by the Chinese Government through backchannels.
Interestingly enough, the US seems to be taking a very wobbly pedestal with this defence of the UK…
“Beijing’s aggressive behaviour shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China and should guard their critical infrastructure from CCP influence,” a statement from the US State Department declares.
“Free nations deal in true friendship and desire mutual prosperity, not political and corporate kowtows.”
If promising to withhold valuable intelligence data from allies unless US demands are met, as Pompeo has threatened in the past, is not a political and corporate kowtow, we’re not 100% sure what is.