The United Kingdom’s exclusion of Huawei Technologies 5G equipment came without any solid evidence and under the excuse of non-existent risks, according to Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
Speaking at a press conference on mid-July, Hua said the step blatantly violated the market economy principles and free trade rules as well as the UK’s own commitments, severely damaging the legitimate interests of Huawei and eroding the mutual trust that underpins China-UK cooperation.
“China strongly opposes this move,” Hua said. “It is not just about one company and one industrial sector. It is about the UK politicizing commercial and technological issues at all costs. It is about the Chinese investment in the UK facing greater threats. It is about whether we can still feel confident about the openness, fairness and non-discrimination of the British market. China will evaluate this development in a comprehensive and serious manner and take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.”
The day before, at a White House press conference, President Donald Trump said that he talked many countries out of using Huawei, saying if they want to do business with the United States, they cannot use Huawei, otherwise it would affect their relations with the United States. Hua said this is further proof that decisions to ban Huawei are not about national security, but political manipulation. It also shows the world that it is not China, but the United States, that has been intimidating and threatening others and sowing discord across the world, she said.
The United Kingdom and Huawei have successfully cooperated in the past 20 years, Hua said, because it served not just Huawei’s interests, but also the UK’s interests, and the decision to ban Huawei will only end up hurting the UK’s own interests. “The world offers a large market and being kept out of one relatively small part of it will not stop Huawei from developing and growing,” she said.
As to whether UK companies in China should be concerned regarding any potential future measures taken by China after the Huawei ban, Hua said: “We have a saying in China which basically means, ‘You reap what you sow.’ All decisions and actions come with price tags. I have also noted that many British enterprises, like the British Chamber of Commerce and British telecom companies, have publicly voiced their opposition to this ban. The British government should take this issue seriously. Does it want to act in its own way of its own volition or is it okay with being a subordinate and a cat’s paw for the United States? The responsibility to make a choice that best serves its people’s interests rests squarely on the shoulders of the British government.”
Asked whether other countries should expect retaliatory measures if they decide to ban Huawei, Hua said China has confidence that most of the world’s leaders have the wisdom to make their own judgment and take the right action based on the merits of the case in the best interests of their countries and businesses.
“As you can see, despite the U.S. crackdown, Chinese companies have not stopped growing,” Hua said. “We do not want to retaliate against any country for taking adverse measures against Chinese companies because it chose to succumb to U.S. intimidation. What we want is cooperation with all countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results, which is what people of all countries aspire to. Retaliation is not what we pursue, but win-win cooperation is. You can tell the British government that they are a minority; that they are against the international community.”