Boris Johnson asks Huawei’s detractors to suggest alternatives
Tuesday, 14 January 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives back at 10 Downing Street after visiting Buckingham Palace. Source: Getty Images
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called on Huawei’s detractors to propose alternatives to the Chinese supplier, which is ahead of its competitors in 5G technology.
Interviewed on BBC Breakfast, the Prime Minister stressed that “the British public deserve to have access to the best possible technology.” He recalled that his government would like to focus on modernizing infrastructure and providing access to high-speed internet for all.
“Now, if people oppose one brand or another, then they have to tell us what’s the alternative, right?” Johnson added, in an obvious reference to Huawei’s advance in 5G, the new generation of mobile technology linking connected devices.
Johnson, who has a solid majority in parliament since the December legislative election in the UK, said, however, that he had no wish to “put in any infrastructure that is going to prejudice our national security or our ability to cooperate with Five Eyes intelligence partners,” a reference to a partnership linking the U.K., U.S.A, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
On Monday, MI15 chief Andrew Parker said the British Government could work with Huawei in 5G without compromising its links with U.S. intelligence services.
This week’s statements come on the heels of a visit to London by a U.S. delegation sent to persuade Downing Street not to work with Huawei.
Washington has been repeating for months that there are close ties between the technology giant and the Chinese Government, and that its equipment could be used for spying, which Huawei has always denied.
In April 2019, information that then conservative government of Theresa May was about to grant Huawei limited participation in the 5G network was leaked to the British press. The Chinese supplier was not to have been involved in the heart of the network, only in the less sensitive infrastructure.