- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Rebuffing a concerted lobbying campaign from the Trump administration, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday said he would allow Huawei, the China-based tech giant, to build a portion of the country’s next-generation 5G wireless national telecommunications network.

The move comes despite repeated warnings from top Trump administration officials that the Chinese firm posed a national security risk because of its link to China’s military and intelligence agencies. The administration has been pressing allies around the world not to allow Huawei to form a part of the 5G wireless technology in their countries.

The U.K. government said Huawei’s involvement in core “sensitive functions” of the 5G will be restricted. Australia and New Zealand have already banned Huawei from their 5G networks, but a number of major allies, including Germany, are still weighing whether to work with Huawei.

“We would never take decisions that threaten our national security or the security of our Five Eyes partners,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told reporters in London, referring to a security arrangement in which Britain, the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, share intelligence. “We know more about Huawei and the risks that it poses than any other country in the world.”

Huawei officials hailed the decision Tuesday and again denied charges that their equipment could be used for espionage purposes. But the White House did not hide its displeasure.

“The United States is disappointed by the UK’s decision,” a senior administration official, who declined to be named, said in a statement, Politico reported. “There is no safe option for untrusted vendors to control any part of a 5G network.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican and a frequent critic of Beijing, added. “Here’s the sad truth: Our special relations is less special not that the UK has embraced the surveillance state commies at Huawei.”

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