Johnson has asked officials to create strategies to reduce China’s involvement in British infrastructure to zero by 2023, the paper reported late on Friday. Johnson is expected to work with less reliance on China as a way to boost trade discussions with US President Donald Trump in the wake of Britain’s departure from the European Union, according to the newspaper.
Boris Johnson – “Huawei deal is going to be significantly scaled back”
Downing Street declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier on Friday, The Times reported that Johnson had instructed civil servants to create plans to end Britain’s reliance on China for vital medical supplies along with other strategic imports. Beijing is being criticised for its handling of this coronavirus outbreak, which started in China. Beijing denies US allegations it has not been clear about the outbreak.
“He (Johnson) still needs a relationship with China, but the Huawei deal is going to be significantly scaled back. Officials are instructed to think of a plan to lessen Huawei’s involvement as swiftly as possible,” a source was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.
The growth could be a reversal of leadership for Britain, which in late April confirmed it’d enable Huawei to have a part in constructing its 5G phone network. Britain decided in January to let Huawei to what the authorities said were non-sensitive areas of the network, capping its involvement to 35%. The United States has raised safety concerns about Huawei equipment and cautioned that allies that utilise it in their networks risked being cut off from valuable intelligence sharing feeds.