UK PM Boris Johnson
UK PM Boris Johnson
PIC: AFP

Huawei will be completely removed from the UK’s 5-G networks by the end of 2027, the UK government announced on Tuesday after a review by the country's National Cyber Security Centre on the impact of US sanctions against the Chinese telecommunications giant.

Britain's decision to re-examine the question came after the US threatened to snap an intelligence-sharing arrangement, because of concerns that Huawei equipment could allow the Beijing government to infiltrate UK networks.Prime Minister Boris Johnson was also under pressure from rebels in his own Conservative Party who are critical of China's new Hong Kong security law and its treatment of ethnic Uighurs, as well as Huawei’s links to the Chinese government.

Ten Conservative lawmakers had sent a letter to Johnson demanding that he remove Huawei from “the UK's critical national infrastructure.”“Everybody has advocated engagement for years and years and years, but it's become apparent that we've been mugged by China,” Neil O'Brien, a Conservative member of Parliament and secretary of the party's China Research Group, told the BBC Monday night.“We've tried to be nice and they've just become more and more aggressive.”

Johnson in January sought to balance economic and security pressures by agreeing to give Huawei a limited role in Britain's so-called 5G network, excluding the company from core components of the system and restricting its involvement to 35% of the overall project. But the move set up a diplomatic clash with the Americans, who threatened to cut off security cooperation unless Britain dumped Huawei.

Amid continued pressure to remove Huawei from communication networks entirely, the US in May imposed new sanctions that will bar companies around the world from using American-made machinery or software to produce chips for the Chinese company.The back and forth has put Huawei at the vortex of tensions between China and Britain.

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