He accused the PM of succumbing to “China bashers” and warned it had “undermined the trust between the two countries”. Liu Xiaoming said: “Huawei symbolises how you treat China.” And he suggested the “golden era” of relations between the UK and China was in jeopardy.”A ‘Golden Era’ needs two sides to make effort,” he said.
Praising Huawei for having invested £2 billion in the UK, creating 28,000 jobs and having contributed “greatly” to the telecoms industry, he warned: “It’s very disheartening. The way you treat Huawei will be followed very closely by other Chinese businesses.”
The acerbic intervention comes after it was announced on Tuesday that telecoms firms will be prohibited from buying Huawei 5G equipment from December 31 this year.
Meanwhile, all of the firm’s existing 5G technology will be stripped out of the network by the end of 2027.
The move represented a massive U-turn after Number 10 gave Huawei the green light in January to participate in building the infrastructure.
It has also sparked a further deterioration in relations between the UK and China, with tensions already strained over coronavirus and the imposition by Beijing of a controversial national security law on Hong Kong.
The Government moved to ban Huawei from the UK’s 5G network after the White House imposed sanctions on the firm which prevent it from using US technology in its 5G equipment.
The UK said the sanctions meant it can “no longer be confident it will be able to guarantee the security of future Huawei 5G equipment”.
The US has long urged its allies not to use the company’s technology because of national security concerns – concerns which have always been rejected by Huawei.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying warned in a briefing that the ban “will only hurt the UK’s own interests”, adding: “This is a big world and the UK is just a small part of it.”
Downing Street insisted it was a UK decision in response to the assessment of the sanctions from the US which were “like nothing we had ever seen before”.
“The US imposed the sanctions, it was then for the [National Cyber Security Centre] to assess the impact of those sanctions on the security of the UK’s 5G network,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
The Government “committed to a constructive relationship” with China, he said.
Earlier, Donald Trump took credit for having “convinced many countries” including the UK not to use Huawei after Boris Johnson ordered a ban on the Chinese firm with the country’s 5G network.
The US president said: “I did this myself, for the most part”, as he spoke of having worked to pressure nations to not use Huawei, adding: “If they want to do business with us, they can’t use it.”