The Us is making a final lobbying effort against the UK before deciding whether to use Huawei’s equipment to upgrade its telecommunications network, Reuters reported. Britain now faces the threat of being cut off from intelligence sharing by the US. The UK is expected to make a final decision later this month on how to deploy Huawei devices in its future 5G networks. The U.S. has long accused Huawei’s telecommunications equipment of being a security risk that could be used to monitor behavior. The industry has warned that a total ban on Huawei’s involvement in network construction will cost billions of dollars.
Huawei, the world’s largest provider of mobile network equipment, has repeatedly denied the allegations. Huawei did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to press British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Huawei at a meeting in Washington on Thursday, the sources said.
Washington also plans to send a delegation, including Matt Pottinger, the DEPUTy national security adviser, to meet with British officials this week, the sources said. Two sources said the trip was cancelled at the last minute because of bad weather.
Last month, the United States passed legislation that included a little-known provision that reinforced the threat of limiting intelligence-sharing with allies using Huawei devices.
A person familiar with the British government’s stance on China said Washington was now “pulling the trigger”. “It’s not clear how, when or if Washington will shoot.”
A UK government spokesman said: “The safety and resilience of BT’s network is paramount. The Government will continue to consider its position on high-risk suppliers and will make a decision in due course. “
The State Department and the National Security Council did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Britain is a key battleground in the geopolitical tussles surrounding Huawei. Last year, British government officials decided in principle to ban Huawei from participating in key parts of the 5G network, but to allow it to participate only in relatively less sensitive parts. The final decision has not yet been made.
A provision of the U.S. Defense Spending Act 2020, signed by President Trump last December, requires intelligence agencies to consider the use of telecommunications and cybersecurity infrastructure provided by “U.S. adversaries, especially China and Russia” when entering into intelligence-sharing agreements with foreign countries.
The increase by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, particularly for members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing coalition, which includes the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, is intended to be “the first signal of warning,” according to a person familiar with the matter.
An aide to Tom Cotton said the senator’s team was working on a new draft bill, which would be released this month, and would “severely restrict” intelligence sharing with countries that use Huawei devices in 5G networks, after the US threatened to do so.