One of the major agreements reached between China and the UK in recent months was the Huawei deal. Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed the Chinese technology company to play a part in building the UK’s 5G network with a limited role. It will only be allowed to account for 35 percent of the kit in a network’s periphery, which includes radio masts. Huawei will also be excluded from areas near military bases and nuclear sites amid security concerns.
However, this move angered the US President Donald Trump who had urged the UK not to allow Chinese technology to be involved.
Many in the UK also warned this could cost Britain its post-Brexit trade deals with the US and others.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen tells Express.co.uk that the Prime Minister may have made a mistake, but the move could be justified if Huawei can be used as a card to play in talks for a US trade deal.
He said: “Perhaps I’m a bit of a cynic but I can’t see why Boris has held out for the Huawei deal on 5G.
“One thought I have had is that he is keeping Huawei as a card to throw on the table to get a US trade deal.
“But I wouldn’t have Chinese Communist government business, their business now in the UK is building nuclear power stations for us, nothing to do with security.
“Boris can play the Huawei card, and give it up as a way to get a US trade deal.”
However, Mr Bridgen warns that if Prime Minister Johnson expands ties with China, the UK’s post-Brexit success could be “looking bleak” as Commonwealth allies turn their backs on Britain.
He added: “I think the biggest stumbling block is our trade links with China, which I think we should loosen.
“Ultimately, with Huawei, the security services have said they can manage the security risk.
“But I said to them ‘fine, you can persuade me, but come back when you have persuaded the Americans, the Canadians, the Australians and the New Zealanders’.
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“If you can’t do that it doesn’t matter because we lose those vital security links.
“We need free trade agreements with them as well as security ties, and clearly our relationship with China infringes on our chances to get these free trade agreements.”
The Chinese Government hasn’t just caused international concerns because of Huawei.
The country’s secrecy in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic has left many feeling aggrieved, and now Britain could be about to step in over the ongoing tensions in Hong Kong.
Fresh protests have broken out over a new security law imposed by Beijing that means people in Hong Kong can be extradited for trial to the Mainland.
On the 23rd anniversary of the handover from Britain to China, crowds defied a ban on protests and gathered on the streets where there were large numbers of riot police.
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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China’s passing of the controversial law in Hong Kong is “a grave step”.
He said: “Despite the urging of the international community, Beijing has chosen not to step back from imposing this legislation.
“China has ignored its international obligations regarding Hong Kong. This is a grave step, which is deeply troubling.”
In 1997, the UK handed ownership of Hong Kong to China in a deal that saw the thriving region change hands but maintain its own autonomy.
The deal was intended to restrict China’s influence over the former British territory and ensure Hong Kong control its own legislative arrangements, have its own free and independent elections while Beijing controlled foreign policy and basic law.
Intended to last for at least 50 years, the deal was also known as ‘one country-two systems’, and granted Hong Kong freedom not experienced by other major cities in China.
As has become clear as protests brought Hong Kong to standstill last year, the deal has since been resisted by China with Xi Jinping’s rise to power proving to be the major catalyst.
Xi was elected in 2013. A year later he had announced that Hong Kong ‘s 2017 elections would be contested by candidates screened and selected by an essentially Beijing controlled committee.