PM Johnson seeking to end reliance on some China imports — UK Times

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2020

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to reduce Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's involvement in Britain's 5G network in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson participates in a national "clap for carers" to show thanks for the work of Britain's NHS (National Health Service) workers and other frontline medical staff around the country as they battle with the novel coronavirus pandemic, outside 10 Downing Street in London on May 21, 2020. Yesterday, following Conservative MP Richard Drax 's questions to urge Johnson to copy France's review of defence supply chains because of concerns China is buying up companies at risk of going bust during the pandemic, Johnson told the Commons: "Drax is absolutely right to be concerned about investment, to be concerned about the buying up of United Kingdom technology by countries that. may have ulterior motives". "Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei's involvement as quickly as possible", a source said, cited by the newspaper. Huawei has not replied to a comment request by the outlet.

Officials across Whitehall have been asked to identify the country's key economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments as part of a new approach to national security.

The newspaper reported that two working groups had been created under the umbrella of Project Defend.

The UK government said that the Chinese company, which has been accused by the USA of providing back-door access to Chinese intelligence services, would be excluded from certain "safety-related" and "safety-critical" networks. Britain in late April had stated that it would allow Huawei to have a role in building its 5G phone network. Beijing denies these allegations.

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