Angry Trump Now Helpless To Stop Huawei’s Stunning Victory: This Week Everything Changes


Zak DoffmanContributor

AFP via Getty Images

The diplomatic spat between Washington and London continues to spiral us into unknown territory this weekend, with the news that even President Trump’s personal plea to Prime Minister Johnson on Friday evening has not pulled the U.K. back from the brink of its decision to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei into its 5G network.

The Sunday Times reported on January 26 that “Trump’s anger” would cast a cloud over the U.K.’s Brexit week, and that the president had told Johnson “that giving a green light to the [Huawei] deal would be a grave threat to national security.” There was even a suggestion from the U.S. that the two countries might forge an alternative to Huawei. The U.K., though, takes the view that to do so would take too long.

With a U.K. Huawei decision expected on Tuesday, January 28, the intensity around U.S. and U.K discussions is only matched by the fierce debate raging within the U.K. government itself. Johnson’s more hawkish cabinet members are said to be furious at the prospect of being “bounced” into a pro-Huawei decision. According to the Sunday Times, one source sourly suggested that “Huawei is next week’s Chinese virus.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a last ditch attempt to sway minds in the U.K. this week, but sources close to events believe this is a now a done deal. There is even talk of a choreographed announcement on Tuesday involving Huawei itself. One would imagine that such a spectacle would be highly incendiary to the U.S.

Writing in the Sunday Times, British MP Bob Seely, a candidate to head the foreign affairs select committee, warned that the country may “regret our refusal to say ‘no way, Huawei’,” adding that he fears that “by the time we see the real cost, in the decades to come, it may be too late.”

On Friday, it was reported that Trump’s immediate riposte to Huawei, to significantly tighten sanctions against the company to damage its supply chain further has been thwarted by the Department of Defense, the argument being that such a move would damage U.S. industry and innovation. This led to an angry challenge from leading senators who suggested to the Pentagon that U.S. companies contracting with Huawei was akin to the same being down with KGB subsidiaries during the Cold War.

Now another letter has now been crafted from U.S. senators, this one directed at the U.K.’s National Security Council. The letter says that the Huawei decision is linked to the special relationship between the two countries. While specifically pulling back from trade agreement or intelligence-sharing threats, Senators Rubio, Cotton and Cornyn urge the U.K. to “make the right decision on Huawei,” which they stress would be “in the best interests” of that relationship.

It remains unclear what will actually happen on Tuesday if the U.K. does not take a last minute U-turn on Huawei. Spooks on both sides of the Atlantic are divided as to the actual risks and the practical application of any change to security alliances. What will be more of an immediate issue is other countries around the world, all of which are less capable than the U.K. of mitigating any Huawei risks, using the U.K. decision as an excuse to defy U.S. warnings. If it’s good enough for Washington’s closest ally, they will argue, it’s good enough for us.

Johnson remains in a bind on the issue. It is tricky for the U.K. to completely backtrack on Huawei without incurring significant cost and delays to the critical 5G rollout. At the same time, if he is seen to kowtow to Washington against the advice of his officials, it will play badly domestically—there is no popular uprising in the U.K. against Huawei. And so, it is likely that Johnson is taking a Brexit-like “let’s just get it done,” after which reparations can be made and political concessions offered.

And so all eyes are on what happens post-Tuesday, when absent any last minute shock, the U.K. will confirm the inevitable. Months of lobbying and wrangling will come to an end—at which point the real work begins as everything changes. Much of this work will be political, and the U.S. will need to be seen to act in some capacity to back up the risks they have raised and the mitigating actions they have threatened.

Whether there is any security or trade deal hangover from these events will be the subject of intense speculation in the coming weeks. While it is unlikely to scupper a trade deal, one can assume some impact. For the U.S., such as been the intensity of its lobbying that it cannot simply roll over on the issue—that would undermine its case. But any action could well be limited to the optics around security arrangements and need not interfere in anything commercial.

For the U.K., with the security issue settled other issues will come to the fore. Chief amongst these will be Huawei’s work in Xinjiang, where its technology forms part of the surveillance programs subjugating the Uighur minority. If the U.K. decision turns up the political heat on Huawei to face up to Beijing and back away from all such involvement, then at least something good will have come from this protracted process.

Source: Forbes “Angry Trump Now Helpless To Stop Huawei’s Stunning Victory: This Week Everything Changes”

Note: This is Forbes’ article I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the article’s views


8 Comments on “Angry Trump Now Helpless To Stop Huawei’s Stunning Victory: This Week Everything Changes”

  1. kommonsense says:

    the real reason why america is so opposed to huawei is (thanks to snowden) that they’ll be unable to continue their spying with non-american network.

    the hypocrisy shown in the americunts’ excuses is insane

    Like

  2. advantec333 says:

    Huawei much more powerful than Toshiba it may take down the USA.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. Simon says:

    When David Cameron was PM he was all in a deal with Huawei but Teresa May as Home Secretary was oppose to a deal but when May became PM she came around and was about to sign a deal but Boris was oppose. May lost her job and Boris after winning the election have also came around to a deal. Perhaps there is something privy to the PM that the best way forward is to sign up with Huawei and oppose American hegmony.
    The master and slave relationship has become more apparent recently when America refuse to extradite diplomat wife Anne Sacoolas over her fault in a crash that killed Briton Harry Dunn on British soil to stand trial. Also to undermine Britain America have no intention or even in a position of offering Britain favourable trading status after Brexit, rather instead forcing Britain to an unequal trading partnership that will kill off British companies that is in competition with America and its companies buying the British NHS on the cheap. Boris will come around to realise who is the real threat is.

    Like

    • Steve says:

      Cameron – May – Johnson are All bum servers to the US. Cameron favours Huawei May rejects, than May favours Huawei Johnson rejects, now Johnson favours Huawei US rejects …. seriously UK and Australian politicians are all good for nothing mistresses of the US.

      Like

      • Simon says:

        It could be all these PMs want to be the one that goes in history as the PM who help kick start the 5G revolution in Britain. There is already some close to BoJo who want his job that is oppose to the deal until of course they become PM themselves. Corbyn also oppose but probably for the same reason.

        Like

        • Steve says:

          Just proved my point – All Bum servers of the US. Trump may want to approve an assassination on UK soil like in Iran to safeguard the 5 cockeyes.

          Johnson did mention in his election speech that he will do more business with China.

          Like

          • Simon says:

            Bojo said he wanted trade with America too. Even the new Brexit 50p coin says “Friendship to all nations” so its hardly a surprise.
            Of all political leaders Corbyn actually represent a real threat to the so call special relationship. He backs Palestine, an anti semite, propose scrapping nuclear weapons, anti royalist and made it known to oppose Trump. There is no chance he could be elected. As a hard leftie socilaist you think he would go into allaince with China but he oppose Huawei deal. If he did got elected at the last eelection like other PMs he would sign up with Huawei because he want to be the PM who kick start 5G relovlution in Britain. This is a big deal and Briatin obviously think its worth it to antagonise their relationship with America.

            Like

  4. johnleecan says:

    What a load of crap by Forbes magazine! America can’t even provide any proof of spying by Huawei. Why? Because Huawei technologies doesn’t provide any back door for spying for any government unlike Apple or other American technology companies that succumb to American government pressure to provide a back door for spying. And because Huawei technologies are so advanced and Americans still haven’t been able to steal Huawei secrets, Trump has to bogusly claim Huawei is spying.

    You see, even an Apple iPhone when turned off can be turned on remotely by American spy network to spy not only for the government but for blackmailing and pornographic purposes.

    Forbes even have to mention the false narrative of China using Huawei for surveillance. You see, the Uighur people have been given preferential treatment for so many years but these had led to Uighurs being even more lazy. What the Chinese government then did during the last few years was to have a hands-on education and training to improve the lives of Uighur people and this has work wonders.

    No wonder the Americans are so furious and pissed that they have to put their lying propaganda machinery into full overheating gear to demonize China. But China being very transparent has shown to the Muslim world the real situation in Xinjiang that has led to dozens of Muslim countries into giving a statement in UN that China has indeed improve and still continuing to help China’s Muslim brothers. Unlike the statement from America and its non-Muslim lapdog allied countries that never visited Xinjiang and giving false and fabricated lies to appease America because they cower in fear and signing blindly to whatever America shove it up their butt.

    Like


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