After London banned the purchase of 5G equipment made by Huawei, experts fear the Asian country could retaliate in the form of sanctions.
In particular, the Boris Johnson government decided that by the end of 2020 the UK should stop buying Huawei products to build its 5G networks, and by 2027 all components of the Chinese manufacturer should be excluded from the national network.
In a sense, this is a moderate measure, since it only affects the latest generation networks and does not include 4G ones. Furthermore, some conservative MPs insisted that Huawei should be excluded by 2023. However, the decision made by London has not been well accepted in Beijing. Thus, the Global Times reported that treating China – an important trading partner of the United Kingdom – as an enemy is a serious mistake.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab’s remarks did not contribute to good relations with China after he stated that the United Kingdom suspended the extradition agreement with Hong Kong. The Chinese Foreign Ministry reacted negatively to this statement, stating that Beijing will not tolerate meddling in its internal affairs.
At the same time, in its official statements, Beijing limited itself to promises to take decisive action in response to the actions of the British Government, without specifying the details. However, the Chinese and Western media, citing their own sources and experts, came up with their own hypotheses.
Thus, the Global Times indicates that the same fate that Huawei faces in the United Kingdom can await Jaguar Land Rover, BP and HSBC in China. In the interview with media, professor of the European program Jan Monnet at the Renmin University of China, Wang Yiwei, maintains the same point of view.
According to him, China does not usually practice an eye for an eye policy, but if the actions of the United Kingdom are left unanswered, the Asian country could give an appearance of weakness. This, according to Yiwei, would worsen its relations with other states, and stressed that the US could be behind what is happening.
“Now the US has coerced its alliance partners and other European partners who are unable to pursue an independent policy in the area of strategic security, to build a new international system,” said Yiwei.
However, in case China does not put up resistance, the US will create a system that will exclude the Asian country, highlights the expert. According to the analyst, this situation could be the beginning of a new cold war, and it is “something that neither China nor other countries want.”
China currently views Huawei as an indicator of relationships, says Yiwei. As he explains, along with other countries, the United Kingdom is not capable of maintaining an independent policy in the field of strategic security and cannot make its own decisions.
“The United Kingdom and some other countries have a double standard policy when in the security field they support the US, but economically they want to be supported by China,” said the expert.
An example of independent states, according to Yiwei, are Germany and France, which advocate the idea of strategic autonomy and technological sovereignty. Therefore, they do not always follow the path determined by the United States.