Boris Johnson Unveils Plans to Cut China's Huawei 5G from UK Network
PM vows to reduce Chinese involvement in UK infrastructure 'to zero'
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out plans to cut the Communist Party of China-linked Huawei's involvement in the UK's 5G network.
PM Johnson has vowed to reduce China's involvement in the UK's 5G infrastructure "to zero" following the CPC's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister says Huawei's involvement in Britain's 5G network will be scaled down over the next three years.
Johnson has reportedly told officials he wants China to be completely cut out of the UK's infrastructure by 2023.
The move follows a backlash within Johnson's Conservative Party over Chinese investment following the COVID-19 crisis which originated in Wuhan, in the province of Hubei.
China is facing widespread mounting criticism for its handling of the pandemic with Communist Party officials accused of covering up the initial scale of infection.
Chinese hackers have also been suspected of breaking into American research on COVID-19, according to The Daily Mail.
Tory MPs have urged caution over the "rushed" Huawei deal which was brokered under Theresa May's administration but signed off by Mr. Johnson in January.
An insider source told the Daily Telegraph the prime minister still wants to maintain a relationship with China but would like the Huawei deal to be scaled back "as quickly as possible."
The deal as it stands allows Huawei to build 35 percent of Britain's 5G network.
It comes as Britain is to begin weaning itself off reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other goods.
Boris Johnson has ordered officials to draw up a plan, code-named Project Defend, to beef up the UK's national security resistance to Beijing amid fury at the lack of warning it gave others of the outbreak.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will lead the scheme which includes identifying Britain's main economic vulnerabilities to potentially hostile foreign governments, according to The Times.
Mr. Johnson's official spokesman said: "The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of resilient supply chains to ensure the continued flow of essential items and keep global trade moving.
"What we're looking at is what steps we can take to ensure that we have diverse supply chains in place to avoid shortages in the event of a future crisis."
Department for International Trade permanent secretary Antonia Romeo is running the cross-Government project and reporting to Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on the PM's behalf, the spokesman said.
Johnson is preparing to visit the US for the G7 summit next month on his first trip since the start of the coronavirus lockdown.
He is expected to ramp up trade talks with President Donald Trump after calling for the UK to become less reliant on China and the EU for goods.
President Trump has previously been critical of the UK's decision to allow China's involvement in its 5G network.
He threatened to restrict Britain's access to Five Eyes intelligence - information shared between the US, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada - in a backlash to the partnership.