UK’s rejection of Huawei to draw some punishment

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/14 21:26:27

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

The UK's decision to ban Chinese technology giant Huawei Technologies from its 5G networks rollout violates free-market principles. Although the UK can cite an excuse for its discriminative act, it's clear to everyone that London's decision came under pressure from the US.

The UK's short-sighted move toward shunning Huawei's 5G technology is set to leave a severe impact on China-UK economic relations.

China-UK trade remains in stable condition despite the impact of COVID-19. But the UK should understand that favorable conditions for bilateral trade depend on both sides observing free-market principles.

The UK's Huawei 5G restriction will produce a negative impact on UK exporters and manufacturers that are eager to enter the Chinese market. UK companies' participation in Chinese trade fairs, including the China International Import Expo, will also suffer a severe negative impact this year due to the reckless ban.

Faced with the uncertainty of Brexit, the UK is trying to reach free trade agreements with more countries including China. But given its move against China and Chinese technology companies, it will be very hard for the two countries to reach such a deal in the coming months.

In response to the Huawei ban, China is expected to issue corresponding countermeasures concerning China-UK trade. And, Chinese companies' willingness to invest in the UK will come down as the decision has made the British business environment dubious and unfriendly.

Many Chinese companies had hoped to begin and deepen cooperation with the UK, including in the financial services and nuclear power plant projects. In the context of tightening visa processes for Chinese students in the US, many have opted instead to study in the UK.

It would be unwise for the UK to squander the opportunities. The UK is facing many uncertainties this year. Internally, it is facing a pandemic, which holds back its effort to resume full production. 

Externally, the UK faces the issue of Brexit from Europe. After Brexit, the UK needs a large market and more products. The country should continue healthy cooperation with China in order to boost its employment and economy.

Meanwhile, the UK's recent change of stance toward Chinese companies due to the Hong Kong issue has been weakening bilateral ties, and the its latest rejection of Huawei marks a new low.

The UK has cast a shadow on bilateral ties. It is hoped that the country will not make further moves to send bilateral ties into a deep freeze, and that it will stop moving in the wrong direction so that damaged bilateral ties can recover.

The UK should be developing a long-term and positive view rather than making poor decisions for sheer political reasons under US pressure. Its decisions should be based on the interests of its own people.

The article was compiled based on an interview with Wei Jianguo, former Chinese vice minister of commerce and executive deputy director of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.


blog comments powered by Disqus