China has sent a terrifying threat to the UK to expect huge retaliation if the country dares go back on its agreement over Huawei and 5G networks. Beijing said its punishment will “go beyond technology” raising concerns among UK officials of an economic shutdown at the hands of China. This comes after reports that the UK will snub China’s Huawei telecoms by seeking an alliance with other countries on 5G equipment.
BBC’s Nick Robinson discussed the latest on UK-China tensions with expert Peter Frankopan and former senior diplomat Charlie Parton.
Mr Robinson pointed out that Huawei, the coronavirus pandemic and the latest crisis in Hong Kong have started to change political minds in the UK over how close the two countries should be.
He added: “This week, the China Daily warned the UK that any move to exclude Huawei from Britain’s 5G network would be met with retaliation from Beijing.
“They included a threat that this response would ripple beyond technological concerns.”
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Mr Parton admitted that President Xi had “doubled down on everything” following a brutal retaliation against Australia.
China imposed a devastating 80 percent tariff on barley from Australia amid tensions over the country’s call for a coronavirus inquiry.
Mr Robinson questioned whether Australia was a sign of things to come for the UK.
The BBC host said: “What price are we willing to pay? It’s likely we would end up with a more expensive system delivered later on if we ditch Huawei.
In January 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed the company to have access to 35 percent of Britain’s network.
However, this week it emerged that Britain was seeking an international alliance to break China’s monopoly over the network.
Also, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has hit back at China’s new national security law that could end Hong Kong’s unique status.
Mr Raab said the UK could offer British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong a path to UK citizenship if China does not suspend plans for a security law in the territory.
In response, China said it reserved the right to take “countermeasures” against the UK.