Petition To block Huawei equipment to be used in 5G network
I would ask the Parliament to reject Chinese telecom group Huawei and exclude it entirely from our 5G networks in light of security and human right issues. The UK government should not accept any high risk vendor.
Chinese intelligence law requires Chinese companies to cooperate in state intelligence work. Huawei may be asked to provide personal information to the Chinese government.
It has also been reported that Huawei has developed a monitoring system in detention camps holding Uyghurs Muslims, and the ASPI alleged that Huawei’s subcontractors are working “under conditions that strongly suggest forced Uyghur labour”.
The UK should have zero-tolerance against slavery and human right abuser.
This response was given on 31 July 2020
The security of the UK’s telecoms networks is of paramount importance, and the government is taking difficult decisions to protect these interests.
We are clear-eyed about the challenge posed by Huawei, and China. In January 2020, as part of its UK Telecoms Supply Chain Review, the Government set out its conclusions regarding the use of high risk vendors in UK telecoms networks. The factors used to assess whether a company is high risk included its relationship with domestic state apparatus. The assessment of Huawei as high risk took into account, therefore, its potential links to the Chinese state. Any use of high risk vendors within the UK’s telecoms networks is subject to stringent controls. It was announced in January that high risk vendors should be excluded from the core of the network, restricted to a cap of 35%in the access networks, and excluded from sensitive locations.
In May 2020, the US announced further sanctions on Huawei. Following these new sanctions, the UK’s world leading cyber security experts at the National Cyber Security Centre assessed the consequences of the US sanctions and concluded it was no longer able to guarantee the resilience of Huawei technology in our 5G networks. In response, the Government announced in Parliament on 14 July 2020, that operators should stop buying new Huawei 5G equipment by 31 December 2020, and should remove all Huawei 5G equipment from the network by 2027. This decision will preserve the long-term security and resilience of our critical telecoms infrastructure, while causing the minimum amount of disruption to our vital telecoms networks and maintaining our digital connectivity ambitions to support economic recovery and growth. The Telecoms Security Bill will ensure the Government has the powers needed to drive up security standards and control the presence of high risk vendors such as Huawei. The Bill will enshrine in law one of the strongest regimes for telecoms security in the world.
The UK wants a mature, positive relationship with China, based on mutual respect and trust. There is enormous scope for constructive engagement and cooperation. But as we strive for that positive relationship, we are clear-sighted about the challenges. As a democracy with a free society and an open economy, we must have a calibrated approach: there will be times when the UK cannot agree or compromise with China, whether on human rights, Hong Kong or cyber-attacks. We will be clear where we disagree, and we are going to be tough where our values, our security, or the integrity of the international system are threatened.
We want respect for human rights to be at the centre of all business that takes place in this country. We have been clear that China’s approach in Xinjiang is wrong and must stop. We regularly raise our concerns directly with our Chinese counterparts and are playing a leading role to increase international attention to the situation, including leading a Joint Statement at the UN Human Rights Council in June supported by 27 other countries, highlighting arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly those targeting Uyghurs and other minorities, and urged China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to the region.
The government remains committed to driving forward our digital connectivity ambitions whilst taking the decisions necessary to safeguard the UK’s national interests.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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