Johnson Challenges Huawei Detractors
After the US upped the pressure for a ban on Huawei, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson argued that the critics of the Chinese vendor must come up with alternative providers to supply equipment for 5G networks.
In an intreview with BBC News, Johnson said he would not support any infrastructure which would compromise the country’s ability to cooperate with its Five Eyes security allies, but added that he was committed to ensuring the UK had “access to the best possible technology”. “We want to put in gigabit broadband for everybody. Now if people oppose one brand or another then they have to tell us what’s the alternative.”
Johnson’s comments come after a US delegation visited the UK to present the government with evidence outlining the security risk posed by deploying Huawei equipment. BBC News reported the US officials warned it would be “madness” to use Huawei technology in the UK’s 5G networks. The delegation reportedly handed over a dossier of technical information challenging UK intelligence agencies view that the use of Huawei equipment would not compromise national security.
Huawei Vice president Victor Zhang welcomed Johnson’s stance, highlighting the vendor’s 15-year history of doing business in the UK and the fact two parliamentary committees had “concluded there is no technical reason” to ban it. “We are confident that the UK government will make a decision based upon evidence, as opposed to unsubstantiated allegations.” A formal decision by the UK government regarding using Huwei kit in non-core parts of 5G networks is expected in the coming weeks.