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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Remarks on the UK's Decision on Huawei
2020/07/15

Q: Does the UK’s decision on Huawei kill off any possibility of a post-Brexit trade deal between the UK and China?

A: Without any solid evidence and under the excuse of non-existent risks, the UK has decided to get in line with the US in discriminating against and excluding the Chinese company, which blatantly violated the market economy principles and free trade rules as well as its own commitments, severely damaged the legitimate interests of the Chinese company and eroded mutual trust underpinning China-UK cooperation. China strongly opposes this move. It is not just about one company and one industrial sector. It is about the UK politicizing commercial and technological issues at all costs. It is about the Chinese investment in the UK facing greater threats. It is about whether we can still feel confident about the openness, fairness and non-discrimination of the British market. China will evaluate this development in a comprehensive and serious manner and take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.

Q: According to media reports, President Trump admitted at a White House press conference on July 14 that he talked many countries out of using Huawei, saying if they want to do business with the US, they cannot use Huawei, otherwise it will affect their relations with the US. I wonder if China has a comment?

A: This is further proof that decisions to ban Huawei are not about national security, but political manipulation. It also shows the world that it is not China, but the US, that has been intimidating and threatening others and sowing discord all across the world.

Q: Could you tell us about what measures might be taken in response to this decision in the UK? I think you mentioned that China reserves the right to take measures to safeguard the interests of the country's companies.

A: As I just said, it is not just about one company and one industrial sector. It is about the UK politicizing commercial and technological issues at all costs. It is about the Chinese investment in the UK facing greater threats. It is about whether we can still feel confident about the openness, fairness and non-discrimination of the British market. China will evaluate this development in a comprehensive and serious manner and take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.

The UK and Huawei have had some good cooperation in the past 20 years or so, which happened because it serves not just Huawei's interests, but also the UK's interests. Its decision to ban Huawei will only end up hurting its own interests. The world offers a large market, and being kept out of one relatively small part of it will not stop Huawei from developing and growing.

Q: I wonder if you think UK companies in China should be concerned regarding any potential future measures taken by China after this Huawei ban?

A: Without any solid evidence and under the excuse of non-existent risks, the UK has decided to gang up with the US in discriminating against and excluding the Chinese company. I have just made our position perfectly clear. It is about the Chinese investment in the UK facing greater threats. It is about whether we can still feel confident about the openness, fairness and non-discrimination of the British market. China will evaluate this development in a comprehensive and serious manner and take all necessary measures to protect the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.

We have a saying in China which basically means "you reap what you sow". All the decision and actions come with price tags. I have also noted that many British enterprises, like the British Chamber of Commerce and British telecom companies, have publicly voiced their opposition to this ban. The British government should take this issue seriously. Does it want to act in its own way of its own volition or is it OK with being a subordinate and a cat's paw for the US? The responsibility to make a choice that best serves its people's interests rests squarely on the shoulders of the British government.

Q: If other countries adopt a similar policy to the UK and decide to ban Huawei, should they also expect retaliatory measures?

A: Your question concerns the abilities of various countries to make the right decision. Huawei has established good cooperative relations with more than 170 countries. A question was just asked about US President Trump admitting publicly that he has put pressure on other countries to quit cooperating with Huawei if they want to cooperate with the US. This is a naked threat, and everybody sees that clearly. I believe that most of the world's leaders have the wisdom to make their own judgment and take the right action based on the merits of the case in the best interests of their countries and businesses. We have enough confidence in it.

As you can see, despite the US crackdown, Chinese companies have not stopped growing. We do not want to retaliate against any country for taking adverse measures against Chinese companies because it chose to succumb to US intimidation. What we want is cooperation with all countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and win-win results, which is what people of all countries aspire to. Retaliation is not what we pursue, but win-win cooperation is. You can tell the British government that they are a minority, that they are against the international community.

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