UK to feel the pinch by banning Huawei 5G tech

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/7/16 20:22:50

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The fresh release of China's economic data for the first six months of 2020 revealed the economic recovery from the coronavirus onslaught, which, to a certain extent, will allow the country sufficient flexibility and ammunition, when it comes to redefining ties with the UK.

The hubris and arrogance behind the UK government's ban on Huawei 5G, will lead to a cooling of the once "golden" China-UK relations. And British politicians that sought to pamper to the US' international bullying at all costs should be held accountable for the subsequent damages to bilateral ties.

As the first major economy to recover and stabilize after the coronavirus outbreak, China is again on the rise. The developments will give the government a firmer resolution to protect its businesses and safeguard their legitimate rights and interests abroad.

China's Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference on Thursday that "China firmly opposes the UK's decision to ban Huawei from its 5G construction ... Following the British side's abandonment of its free trade policy, China is now conducting a comprehensive assessment (of the relations) and will take necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights of Chinese firms."

It is highly possible that broader economic and cultural links between the two countries will go down, and the impact could be limited on China's colossal economy, but agonizing on the UK economy. China has brought the COVID-19 outbreak under control, while the UK has become one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus, making its economic recovery look like a "mission impossible." 

The contrast between the two countries' economic outlook will make those arrogant UK politicians feel embarrassed. The Chinese economy has continued its recovery with a faster-than-expected 3.2 percent growth in the second quarter, while the urban unemployment rate dropped to 5.7 percent in June, representing renewed momentum in economic activities.

By comparison, the UK is "on track to record the largest decline in annual GDP for the past 300 years," the Office for Budget Responsibility said, adding that the unemployment rate is likely to peak at almost 10 percent in the third quarter even in the most optimistic scenario.

Moreover, Britain's foreign trade outlook has never seemed as bleak as it is today. The Johnson government still has not finalized a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, with the transition period due to expire by the end of this year. 

The deterioration of UK's relationship with China is expected to cast a shadow over its link with Asia's industrial chain spearheaded by China. And it would be naive of the UK to place any hope on getting any trade benefits from the US, which is embroiled in a second wave of the pandemic.

Some in the UK tend to downplay the importance of China-UK relations as they did not see many economic benefits in the "golden era" between the two sides, but that's completely misguided and shortsighted. 

The market is highly concerned about what the Chinese "sanctions" on the UK will be, which may include discouraging Chinese students to go to UK universities, and Chinese tourists to shun the country. A fraught relationship is not something London can bear.

Posted in: GT VOICE

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