House Republicans introduced a resolution Feb. 2, condemning a decision by the British government last week to allow China-based network equipment maker Huawei a limited role in 5G networks being built out in the United Kingdom.
The House resolution calls on the British government to reject or amend the decision on allowing high risk vendors like Hauwei to provide products and services for U.K. 5G networks. Last week’s decision by the British government is subject to further legislative action.
“Banning Hauwei from ‘sensitive parts’ of the network, known as the core, and capping Hauwei’s market share at 35 percent is not enough to ensure the security and fidelity of the United Kingdom’s 5G network,” says the resolution introduced by a group of Republican representatives led by Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul, R-Texas.
The resolution also affirms that the decision to allow Hauwei a role in U.K.’s 5G networks creates an unacceptable risk to the U.S., with which Britain has a “special relationship” as a security partner.
But U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab argued in an oral statement to Parliament that the choice to allow “high risk” vendors like Hauwei a place in building the UK’s 5G infrastructure was one of necessity, driven by a lack of available options in the U.K. market.
“Over time, our intention is for the market share of high risk vendors to reduce as market diversification takes place,” Raab said.
Hauwei has argued that concerns expressed by many in the U.S., including the Trump administration, that it could be compelled by the Chinese government to turn over sensitive material or provide a backdoor into secure networks are groundless.
“We have supplied cutting-edge technology to telecoms operations in the UK for more than 15 years. We will build on this strong track record, supporting our customers as they invest in their 5G networks, boosting economic growth and helping the UK continue to compete globally,” Victor Zhang, Hauwei’s vice president said in a statement.
However, the resolution sponsored by Rep. McCaul resolves that “all Chinese companies, including Hauwei, operate within a political and regulatory environment that removes their ability to act independently from or to requests” by the Communist Chinese Party.