Interview: Britain retreats from "major global player" on Huawei policy -- expert

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LONDON, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Britain is retreating from a "major global player" as it bows to U.S. pressure to ban Chinese technology company Huawei's involvement in the country's 5G networks, a British expert has said.

"On the Huawei question ... I think that Britain is retreating from the notion of itself as a major global player," British scholar and political commentator Martin Jacques told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The British government announced Tuesday that buying new Huawei 5G equipment will be banned after Dec. 31, 2020, and all Huawei equipment will be removed from the country's 5G networks by the end of 2027.

"We turn our back on Huawei, one of the world's most innovative and important companies, and its 5G technology that is crucial to our future," said the scholar, adding that Britain "rips out all its technology in an extraordinary act of national self-harm."

Jacques, senior fellow at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, believes Britain has been in the process of "withdrawing from the world."

"The most graphic example of this is, of course, pulling out of the European Union (EU)," he added.


"We left the EU, our biggest trading partner," Jacques said, and now Britain shows growing estrangement from China, the second largest economy in the world.

"The UK has no future without China," he said, noting that China is the crucial player in the global economy and "that will be true on a far greater scale in future."

The scholar also pointed out that China has been responsible for about one third of global economic growth for years.

He recalled the "Golden Era" relationship between Britain and China which has been promoted by the former British government led by David Cameron as prime minister and George Osborne as chancellor of the exchequer since 2015.

"Osborne, in particular, understood the importance of China, understood the rise of China and respected China," he said, "so Britain did something remarkable in this period."


Looking at the current situation, Jacques believes Britain's Huawei policy is under the pressure of the United States.

He argued that the United States believes China is a threat to American hegemony in the world, and therefore it needs to be stopped.

"A trade war, the attack on Huawei, the attack on Chinese innovation, accusations of cheating and all the rest of it," he said, "I think that the COVID-19 (pandemic), they thought, was a great opportunity to attack China and to accuse it of all these things."

"In reality, of course, it completely backfired," the expert said.

He explained that while China handles the COVID-19 pandemic "very well," some western countries' performance on it has been "dreadful."

"The most scandalous example is what's happening in America. They've absolutely failed to control it," he added.

"It's been quite a disgraceful episode, in my view, in the criticisms of China (on COVID-19 pandemic)," Jacques said. Enditem

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