Ahead of his US trip British Prime Minister plans to reduce Huawei's involvement in Britain’s 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, UK’s leading daily the Telegraph has reported. Johnson has asked officials to make plans to reduce China's involvement in British infrastructure to zero by 2023, the newspaper reported on Friday.
Johnson is expected to use less reliance on China as a means to boost trade talks with US President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Britain's departure from the European Union, according to the newspaper.
Huawei did not comment so far on the development.
Earlier on Friday, The Times, another British daily reported that Johnson has instructed civil servants to make plans to end Britain's reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports. Johnson plans to visit the US for the G7 summit next month in his first trip abroad since the crisis began.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he is considering hosting world leaders for the annual G-7 summit at his Camp David retreat despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. G7 countries — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — take turns organizing the annual gathering.
French President Emmanuel Macron said he would attend the Camp David summit if 'health conditions allow,' his office said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would “wait and see what happens.”
"He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China but the Huawei deal is going to be significantly scaled back. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei's involvement as quickly as possible," a source was quoted by the Telegraph as saying. Britain in late April had stated that it would allow Huawei to have a role in building its 5G phone network.
Britain decided in January to allow Huawei into what the government said were non-sensitive parts of the network and limit its involvement at 35 per cent. The United States has raised security concerns about Huawei equipment, and warned that allies that use it in their networks risked being cut off from valuable intelligence sharing feeds, according to media reports.
--- The Economic Times
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