China threatens to ‘strike back’ at UK over 5G and Hong Kong

FPI / May 19, 2020

Analysis by Paul Crespo

Thanks to communist China’s increasingly belligerent actions worldwide, Great Britain has finally woken up to the serious Chinese threat and is increasingly standing up to China.

In recent weeks, the UK has reversed itself on allowing Huawei into its 5G telecom network and strongly condemned China on its repression of Hong Kong.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping

In its typically ham-fisted manner, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is now threatening Britain as it has been threatening various other western countries.

As previously reported by World Tribune, implementing the UK’s critical information infrastructure with Huawei’s equipment exposes not only the UK, but shared U.S. intelligence, to the threat of espionage by the CCP. China’s supreme leader, Xi Jinping, has stated “high-end technology is the weapon of a modern country.”

In late May, Britain announced that prime minister “Boris Johnson has instructed officials to draw up plans that would see China’s involvement in the UK’s infrastructure scaled down to zero by 2023.” Raising the stakes last week, Johnson said Britain was concerned about security around “hostile state vendors,” reported the Financial Times.

This statement followed an official UK security inquiry that raised “very, very serious” questions about whether Huawei can continue with its limited role as a supplier of 5G networks. Reinforcing that concern, the former head of Britain’s MI-6 Intelligence Service, John Sawers wrote in Bloomberg, “UK intelligence services can therefore no longer provide the needed assurances that Chinese-made equipment is still safe to use in the UK’s telecoms network.”

China responded immediately through its ambassador to London in a video conference call with reporters on Monday. According to the Financial Times, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming threatened that Britain will “bear the consequences” if it treats China as a “hostile” country in deciding whether to allow Huawei a role in UK’s 5G phone networks.

Liu added that it was “not in the UK’s interest” to make an enemy of Beijing.

Related: America stands alone against the Chinese 5G threat, June 24, 2020

Meanwhile the UK is adding to the pressure on Beijing regarding its repressive takeover of Hong Kong. Last week, Johnson announced the UK would be offering three million Hong Kong residents the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship.

As reported by the Express, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office then launched its most robust 6-month report on Hong Kong, warning China to “reconsider, to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong’s autonomy and respect its own international obligations. The UK will not look the other way when it comes to the people of Hong Kong, we will stand by them, and we will live up to our responsibilities”.

China’s new, so-called “National Security Law” is essentially eliminating freedom of expression in the city. It also violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration that ensures political autonomy for Hong Kong until 2047.

According to the Express, UK MPs and Peers joined an online rally on Saturday marking the one-year anniversary of the Hong Kong protest movement. The MPs “called on international governments to rethink their dependence on China, avoid technology with Chinese links, including Huawei, Zoom, and WeChat and protect privacy and data.”

Lord Adonis said at the speech: “Just as under Stalin we were all Berliners, so too under Xi Jinping must we all be Hongkongers.”

Making more threats against Britain, the CCP mouthpiece, the Global Times also warned that the British economy faces “substantial damage” if the UK government does not change course. The Express reported that the Chinese news site threatened that Beijing would “strike back” in “areas where the UK steps out of line.”

The Global Times implied China could compromise key areas of the UK economy through corporations it has the greatest leverage over – most notably HSBC, and Chinese investment in nuclear plants in the UK. However, this bullying may only stiffen Britain’s resolve.

As former MI-6 head John Sawers stated in Bloomberg, “It is important that all western democracies now unite in standing firm against China’s more aggressive approach.” Adding, “China’s leaders should also understand that they will pay a price if they try to impose their system and standards on other countries.”

We will now see if Britain will continue to show the same strength and resolve against communist Chinese bullying and threats today that it showed a previous tyrant in the 1940s.

FPI, Free Press International