A number of U.S. lawmakers have welcomed the U.K.’s decision to remove Huawei from the country’s 5G networks by 2027.
The move to oust the Chinese tech giant from 5G networks followed a technical review by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Center in response to U.S. sanctions against Huawei.
“Technical experts at the NCSC reviewed the consequences of the sanctions and concluded the company will need to do a major reconfiguration of its supply chain as it will no longer have access to the technology on which it currently relies and there are no alternatives which we have sufficient confidence in,” said the U.K.’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport, in a statement released Tuesday. “They found the new restrictions make it impossible to continue to guarantee the security of Huawei equipment in the future.”
The decision comes amid security concerns fueled by rising tensions between Beijing and Western powers.
The logo of Chinese company Huawei is seen on the screen of a Huawei mobile phone in London on July 14, 2020.
(Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
The U.S. had threatened to sever an intelligence-sharing arrangement with Britain because of concerns that Huawei’s involvement could allow the Chinese government to infiltrate U.K. networks.
Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he was relieved the U.K. has initiated a plan to remove Huawei products from its communications systems.
“I have long been concerned about the national security risks posed by allowing high-risk vendors such as Huawei, and with them, the Chinese Communist Party, into any of our allies’ telecommunications infrastructure,” he said in a statement emailed to Fox News. “I know this has not been an easy decision to make, but it is the right one. As China continues to make clear its malign international intentions, I am heartened by the determination of Western allies to face these new challenges in a clear-eyed, unified manner.”
“The UK made the right call today to kick the Chinese Communist spy ring out of their network,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “The special relationship is stronger now, as are our joint efforts to expose the threats the CCP and their surveillance puppet pose to the free world. Thatcher would be proud.”
“The UK government’s decision is a step in the right direction, imposing limits on further Chinese spying on British communications,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in a statement. “I urge London to remove completely the risk that Huawei 5G equipment poses to the privacy and security of its people.”
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chair of the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, said that the U.K.’s move was a step in the right direction.
“I welcome these developments in the UK and reiterate my hope that the Trump Administration will begin to engage multilaterally with like-minded allies on promoting secure and competitively-priced alternatives to Huawei equipment,” he said in a statement emailed to Fox News. “My bipartisan legislation, the United Strategic Allied Telecommunications Act, would be a major step in the right direction and I hope to see it included, fully funded, in the eventual defense authorization act.”
President Donald Trump’s national security adviser also applauded Britain’s decision.
“The reported U.K. action reflects a growing international consensus that Huawei and other untrusted vendors pose a threat to national security, as they remain beholden to the Chinese Communist Party,” said Robert O’Brien, who is in Europe this week, in a statement. “We look forward to working with the U.K., as well as our many other partners and allies, to spur innovation, promote vendor diversity in the 5G supply chain, and ensure 5G security free from dangerous manipulations.”
Ed Brewster, a spokesman for Huawei UK, described the British government’s move as “bad news” for anyone in the U.K. with a mobile phone. “It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane, push up bills and deepen the digital divide,” he said in a statement.
“Regrettably our future in the UK has become politicized, this is about US trade policy and not security,” he added.
Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers