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China: UK cooperating with US to hurt Huawei

China: UK cooperating with US to hurt Huawei
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China accused the United Kingdom on Wednesday of cooperating with the U.S. in order to harm Huawei after the U.K. banned the Chinese company from participating in its 5G wireless network.

A foreign ministry spokeswoman said China will protect its companies but did not indicate any potential retaliation, The Associated Press reported.  

“Without any concrete evidence, the United Kingdom took unfounded risks as an excuse and cooperated with the United States to discriminate, suppress and exclude Chinese companies,” Hua Chunying said, according to the AP.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE on Tuesday claimed to have had a big role in the U.K.’s decision, telling reporters in the Rose Garden “I did this myself, for the most part” while citing concerns Huawei is a security risk.

“I talked many countries out of using it: if they want to do business with us, they can’t use it,” the president said.

Hua said on Wednesday the president’s comments showed the bans were “completely unrelated to national security,” adding “this is highly politicized manipulation.” She also said ultimately the ban hurts the U.K. and China’s relationship.

“This once again allows everyone to see clearly the one who is issuing threats here, there and everywhere is perhaps not China but the U.S.,” the foreign ministry spokeswoman said, according to Reuters

The U.K. announced Tuesday that Huawei would not be allowed to participate in the development of its high-speed wireless network, although the company is the top producer for switching gear for phone and internet companies. All existing Huawei gear needs to be removed by 2027.

British officials said U.S. sanctions made it impossible to ensure the security of Huawei's supplies. They have claimed the president was not the sole deciding factor in the decision.

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China’s ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, has blasted the U.K.’s decision, calling it “disappointing and wrong.” The ambassador also questioned whether the U.K. is a safe country for international investors due to the ban.

“It has become questionable whether the U.K. can provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries,” Liu tweeted, according to the AP.

The U.S. has warned that the Chinese government could require Huawei to give it access to the networks it assists in constructing, although Huawei denies this. American officials praised the U.K.’s ban on Huawei following the country’s Tuesday announcement.