Thu, 17 Jun 2021

by Xinhua writer Ma Qian

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- London's recent hint to cut off Huawei's participation in Britain's 5G network development has sounded an alarm that Britain's normal business cooperation with other countries risks being politicized under the pressure of hegemonic Washington.

First of all, labeling the Chinese telecommunications equipment provider as "a high risk state vendor" is simply wrong. Huawei is a privately owned technology firm just like its major 5G competitors Nokia and Ericsson.

Even the United States, the company's most vicious persecutor, has so far failed to present any credible evidence that Huawei has ever posed any national security threat. More ridiculously, all of America's accusations are based on some Washington politicians' assumptions, if not imaginations.

Shutting Huawei out and joining Washington in a "tech Cold War" against China will inflict damage on Britain's own interests.

Huawei, with its global leading edges in technologies and relatively low cost of use, is able to offer highly cost-effective solutions to British telecom operators and ordinary customers.

Huawei's technology has already been extensively adopted in 5G networks across Britain, as the Chinese company now supplies telecom network equipment to all the country's major mobile and broadband service providers. Once these service providers are forced to replace their existing hardware, Britain will not only have to spend a longer time and more money to build its 5G infrastructure, but also face the possibility of having to take replacements of lower quality.

Apart from its wide range of business in Britain from smartphones to mobile networks, Huawei has also invested millions of pounds in research and development in the country. It also plans to build a state-of-the-art center in Cambridge, which will focus on the research, development, and manufacturing of optical devices and modules.

Banning the Chinese company means that Britain will suffer unnecessary yet far-reaching losses in developing scientific research capability in advanced technologies.

In recent years, China-Britain cooperation has forged ahead, notably in trade and financial sectors. In the post-Brexit era, Britain boasts great cooperation potential in all fields not just with China, but also with the rest of the world. Yet if London takes a U-turn on its Huawei policy, such a decision will be bound to take a heavy toll on its cooperation with Beijing.

Moreover, a possible ban on the Chinese company will send a message to investors of other countries who are doing business or have an interest in the British market that they may some day have to face the same fate as that facing Huawei now. That is certainly not helpful to Britain's image as an attractive international investment destination.

Sadly enough, if the British leaders in 10 Downing Street surrender to Washington's pressure and ban Huawei, it will further validate to the whole world that Washington can dictate its agenda in London, thereby eroding Britain's ability to make decisions on its own.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson once promised to his fellow countrymen that he will make Britain the "greatest country on Earth."

It is hoped that Britain can ditch discriminatory measures against specific countries or companies, and make independent and rational choices that serve Britain's own best interests.

Without doubt, creating an open and fair business environment, instead of blindly following Washington's baton, can help the British leader fulfill his promise.

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