Huawei is a risk, therefore, for Britain to change course on 5G, ex-MI6 spymaster says

LONDON (Reuters) – China’s Huawei poses as a serious danger to the safety and security of the United Kingdom that the government should reconsider its decision to give it a limited role in the development of 5G networks, a former head of the british MI6 foreign spy service said on Thursday.

A Huawei surveillance camera is seen displayed at an exhibition during the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin, China-May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

In what some have likened to the Cold War and arms race, the United States is afraid that 5G dominant position would give a global competitor, such as China an advantage, Washington is not ready to accept.

The Trump administration, which is the hit Huawei with strict sanctions on Wednesday, told the allies not to make use of the technology, because fear can be a vehicle for Chinese spying. Huawei has repeatedly denied.

But British ministers have agreed with the Huawei a limited role in building parts of the 5G network. The final decision is not yet published.

“I sincerely hope that there is time for the BRITISH government, and the chance that if I write a new minister-president, a review of the Huawei decision,” said Richard Recently, was chief of the Secret Intelligence Service from 1996 to 2004.

“The ability to control the communication and the data that flows through channels will be the route to exercise power over the society and in other countries,” Recently wrote in the preface of a report on Huawei by the Henry Jackson Society.

Huawei, founded in 1987 by a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army, denies it is spying for Beijing, says it is in accordance with the law and that the United States try to lubricate, because Western companies are falling behind.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Britain for a visit this month that it is necessary to change attitude towards China and Huawei, the casting of the second largest economy in the world as a threat to the West comparable to that once posed by the Soviet Union.

Recently, that during 38 years in the British intelligence service, said it was deeply worrying that the British government “seems to have decided to the development of a number of of her most sensitive critical infrastructure” in the hands of a Chinese company.

“Not part of the Communist Chinese government is eventually able to work free of the control exercised by the Communist y leadership,” he said Recently.

“We should also not be affected by the threat of the economic cost of either delaying 5G or settle for a less capable and more expensive provider,” he said.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden and Andrew MacAskill

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