UK Will ‘Pay a Price’ over Huawei Decision, Threatens Chinese Communist Party Paper

OMSK, RUSSIA - AUGUST 5, 2016: China's serviceman carries a Chinese flag during the opening ceremony for the Maintenance Battalion competition among maintenance units in the village of Cheryomushki as part of the 2016 Army Games, an international event organized by the Russian Defense Ministry. Sergei Bobylev/TASS (Photo by Sergei …
Sergei Bobylev\TASS via Getty Images

A state-owned Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda outlet has threatened that the United Kingdom will pay a “price” if Boris Johnson’s government decides to expel Chinese tech giant Huawei from its 5G network.

Following reports that the British Government is planning to reduce Huawei’s role in the network to zero per cent by the year 2023, China Daily — a CCP mouthpiece — penned an editorial entitled the “UK will pay price if it carries out decision to exclude Huawei”,  warning that the move will “almost certainly” be met with a “retaliatory responses from Beijing”.

The article makes veiled threats about the possible damage the communist nation could inflict upon Great Britain, including how the move would “darken the UK’s post-Brexit economic prospects” and that excluding Huawei would “hurt relations with China”.

“Since the Chinese government has attached great significance to the way Huawei is treated overseas, and literally taken it increasingly as a test stone of bilateral ties, its reaction to such a decision should be easy to predict,” the article threatened.

China has a history of retaliating against countries for actions taken against the tech giant.

In December of 2018, two Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were detained in China, following the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, where she faces extradition to the United States on charges of skirting international sanctions against the Islamic regime in Iran.

Another state-run mouthpiece for the CCP, the Global Times, said that the arrest of the two Canadians was an act of revenge for the detention of Wanzhou.

The China Daily article also — apparently unironically — stated the move would “erode confidence in the UK’s long-standing reputation as a market economy”, a remarkable accusation for a state-owned communist newspaper to make.

“Unlike working together to address misgivings regarding security, pushing a certain company out of a country’s market simply because of its national identity is not only against market economy rules, but also a very unfriendly gesture against the latter’s country of origin,” China Daily wrote.

Unlike free-market economies, communist China has long required foreign firms operating in the country to split ownership with local companies. This policy has been a key part of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China. The foreign ownership laws have also been claimed by critics as a way for China to steal intellectual property from companies in the West.

Huawei itself has been at the heart of a corporate espionage controversy, being indicted by the United States government in February on charges of “a pattern of racketeering activity”. The indictment accused the company of embarking on a “decades-long” effort to “misappropriate intellectual property” in order to grow its business.

On Tuesday, Breitbart London reported that British intelligence service has begun a security review of Huawei. The move is seen as a first step in reducing the company’s presence in the United Kingdom.

The decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to allow Huawei to help build 35 per cent of the UK’s 5G network had been at the heart of an ongoing dispute with the United States, which alleged that the company has the ability to build backdoor access into its networks, and therefore could jeopardise the security sharing alliance between Britain and the United States.

Boris Johnson’s government has come under increased pressure to scrap the deal from members of his own party and has been forced to rethink relations with the communist regime in the wake of Beijing’s misinformation campaign during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

The move to review the status of Huawei’s involvement comes ahead of the upcoming G7 summit in the United States, in which Boris Johnson will make his first trip to the country since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.