The UK government have announced they will ban all UK companies from purchasing 5G tech from Huawei by the end of the year amid cybersecurity fears. They must also dispose of all components produced by the Chinese company within seven years.
Media Secretary Oliver Dowden told parliament that the country would be vulnerable to major risks if they became dependent on the tech giant. This comes after the National Cyber Security Centre ‘significantly changed their assessment of Huawei’s presence in the UK’s 5G network’.
Last year the company was blacklisted by the United States, with the Trump administation pressuring their European allies to follow suit. Senior intelligence officials assert that Huawei is an espionage and surveillance vessel for the Chinese government.
This move comes as world leaders grapple with the question of China’s increasingly powerful and controversial role on the world stage. The UK government recently proposed sanctions against human rights offenders from an array of states including Saudi Arabia, Russia, and North Korea. However the omission of China from the list contrasts with allegations of ethnic cleansing of Uyghur groups and the brutal suppression of Hong Kong pro-democracy protests.
Perhaps most shocking is the lack of outcry from the general public on these issues in the Western world given the wave of protests on social issues that have rocked Europe and North America in recent weeks. It seems social justice solidarity does not extend to Chinese citizens of an increasingly authoritarian Beijing regime.
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