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By rejecting Huawei, Britain risks being swept up in the US’ next ideological crusade

As the US attempts to weaken its economic adversary, China, Britain has been forced to choose sides…

Submitted by InfoBrics, authored by Johanna Ross, journalist based in Edinburgh, Scotland…

‘Let China sleep, when she wakes, she will shake the world’ Napoleon reportedly said. But China has been far from asleep in recent years – the West has. In the last few decades the East Asian country of around 1.4 billion has become the manufacturing powerhouse of the world. It is not common knowledge, but in most fields it has already surpassed the United States. In a generation, a country which did not even feature on the economic league tables in 1980 is now leading them. By 2024 its estimated GDP will exceed the US’ by over $10 billion.

The US has been aware of this, although arguably has done little up until now to react other than President Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ in 2012. Donald Trump has taken a much more confrontational approach since he came to the presidency, embarking on an uncompromising trade war with China, in which he has openly attempted to manipulate US allies. Britain for some time resisted, signing up last year to a deal with Chinese tech giant Huawei to roll out 5G technology across the UK, against US advice. But last week, the British government performed a U-turn on its decision, declaring it would not be allowing Huawei to be involved in its 5G network after 2027. On Sunday, Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab said that there would be ‘no return’ to normal relations with China.

So what happened to the ‘golden decade’ of Sino-British relations announced by the Cameron government back in 2015? Only last year with the shadow of Brexit looming, then PM Theresa May announced $9bn of business deals with China.  But the honeymoon is now over. In a world which is dominated by two economic powers, Britain has been forced to choose sides, and the coronavirus pandemic has provided the perfect opportunity to change policy. Indeed as soon as the epidemic took hold in Britain, the anti-China rhetoric was ramped up. It was as if the Chinese had to be punished somehow for Covid crisis – suddenly the nation was enemy number one and couldn’t be trusted at all. Someone just had to be made responsible for the rising death toll in Britain; it couldn’t be Boris Johnson, Xi Jinping was a much more suitable option. In terms of making the current anti-China stance more palatable for the British public, the coronavirus crisis was just what was needed. The media campaign began, as rumours of coronavirus having been leaked from a Wuhan laboratory (although unfounded) were spread.

Up until Covid-19, Britain was silent on the plight of the Uighurs, uninterested in the Hong Kong umbrella movement, and unwilling to budge on Huawei, even under considerable pressure from the US.  Even during the unrest in Hong Kong which began last year over changes to extradition laws, Britain was cautious. It had to protect its post-Brexit trading interests.  But the pressure from the US has clearly proved too much.  Donald Trump, for his part, personally takes credit for the UK rejection of Huawei. On the announcement of the UK decision, he said: ‘I talked many countries out of using it…If they want to want to do business with us, they can’t use it.’ Just like that, the leader of the ‘free world’ admits western nations are not free at all, but at the bidding of America. In fact, it was reported that the US effectively forced the UK to reject Huawei by imposing new sanctions that cut off the company from international semiconductor supplies, leaving Britain no choice but to look to other 5G providers.

Make no mistake, the UK was bullied out of the Huawei deal. The US administration has escalated tensions with China in the last few weeks, now imposing visa restrictions on Huawei employees entering the US, and removing Hong Kong’s special trade status.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said recently ‘if China treats Hong Kong and China as one country in a single system then so must we’. Giving a press conference last week on the subject, Pompeo was flanked by screens bearing the slogan ‘If you are doing business with Huawei, you are doing business with human rights abusers.’ (Never mind the multi-billion dollar arms contracts signed last year with Saudi Arabia, a nation famed for its lack of human rights, with a crown prince that brutally annihilates his opponents.) The US picks and chooses who it wants to fight, and when, and its motivations are primarily economic.  In addition, the US elections are looming, Trump needs an enemy, and China has fallen in the crossfire.

China for its part clearly doesn’t want conflict. It has spoken of trust having been ‘seriously damaged’ and of impending ‘consequences’ for the UK of banning Huawei, but it’s not likely it would go as far as to impose its own sanctions or blacklist US companies.  Multinationals such as Google and Apple are so heavily embedded in the Chinese technological infrastructure that restricting them would pose huge risk.  Instead, it’s more possible that China will look towards strengthening its links with allies such as Russia, and expanding its market elsewhere. ‘In the end, this is a big world, and the UK is only a small part of it’ the Chinese foreign ministry said last week. Chinese companies will no doubt be discouraged from investing in the UK however, moving forward.

The reality is Britain has been slow to catch up with a rising China, and for too long has sat on the fence in the US-China trade war.  Now it cannot afford to ignore it: in 20 years China has gone from 26th to 6th place in Britain’s largest export markets. The Covid crisis, together with increasingly aggressive US rhetoric towards the government of Xi Jinping, have now shone a light on the country, and it has become obvious that the UK is lacking a coherent China strategy. Very few people in the Foreign Office have real, hands-on experience of China and its language and culture, and this is a real handicap when dealing with any nation.  With the US outright rejecting China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, and sending a warship there recently to flex its muscles, it would take very little for this ‘cold war’ to heat up.

The UK needs to craft its future China policy very carefully, or risk being swept up in the US’ next ideological crusade.

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Olivia Kroth
July 21, 2020

Britain has been swept up for a long time in US affairs, especially when lying about Russia or China. Lapdogs!

Cudwieser
Cudwieser
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
July 21, 2020

Yeah! That ‘special relationship’. What sayeth the UK were embarassed by their progeny with the US treating the UK as their endentured parent, you know, the one the US spaz out about and expect to wipe their arse when they shit on everyone.

Calling a Spade a Spade
Calling a Spade a Spade
July 21, 2020

Britain has already signed, sealed and delivered its subservience to Washington. It might as well just relax and enjoy its servitude.

The New Normal
The New Normal
Reply to  Calling a Spade a Spade
July 22, 2020

Kind’a like blacks on Gone With the Wind. Free roof over their heads, plenty of turnip greens (or twinky delights) to eat and intimate moments with massah from time to time. More the benefits with more the yassuhs and no whuppins, or mostly none. What’s to complain about? Sometimes I wish I had it so good.

Last edited 3 months ago by The New Normal
Dobriy Djen
Dobriy Djen
Reply to  The New Normal
July 22, 2020

Raab doesn’t mean slave in Russian by chance, after all. 😉

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Dobriy Djen
July 22, 2020

A very astute comment, thank you.

Aleksandar Sarovic
July 21, 2020

People still believe that politicians have power in the western world. This is false. The elite finance and control them. The same elite control the US and GB. If you start thinking this way you will not be surprised by news.

Cudwieser
Cudwieser
Reply to  Aleksandar Sarovic
July 21, 2020

You underestimate politics and what politicians are. They do hold power and the majority come from wealth and privilage on a crusade to bolster their base. They are solicitors/lawyers, bankers and business people or are related to one of the above. They don’t require an elite to back them, just a public to elect them and they’ll do the rest. The aren’t subserviant, they’re self serviant. They’d have Rothschild liquidated if it paid them. This kind of politics reigned since divine right of kings where the courtiers played politics and justified the next ill deed at the expense of king… Read more »

Aleksandar Sarovic
Reply to  Cudwieser
July 22, 2020

You overestimate politics and what politicians are. They do not hold power even though the majority come from wealth and privilege on a crusade to bolster their base. They are solicitors/lawyers, bankers and business people or are related to one of the above. They do require an elite to back them, because public would never know they exist, and could not elect them, and they would not be able to do the rest. The are subservient from the day they are born, they’re not self servient, especially not in GB. “They’d have Rothschild liquidated if it paid them.” Wow, I… Read more »

Cudwieser
Cudwieser
Reply to  Aleksandar Sarovic
July 22, 2020

You need to stop imitating because it’s lazy and you’re bad at it. If there is an elite, then what is their plan and why hasn’t someone smply intervened, if to do good or ill themselves. FFS the elite are a creation on par with the roswell aliens, a convenient cover for the polticians, corporatist and other power brokers to disguise their acts and keep us tilting at windmills. What works better to create shadows that an elite that doesn’t exist.

Aleksandar Sarovic
Reply to  Cudwieser
July 22, 2020

The elite want to invisibly control the whole world the same way they manage the western world. This means they can commit crimes, and nobody can connect them with them. China and Russia resisted them, so now they plan to conquer the rest of the world, isolate Russia and China and force them to surrender. It will not go this way, but we all will suffer anyway.

Fred Mc
Fred Mc
July 21, 2020

By supporting a loser, Britain, you will ultimately lose!

paul
paul
July 22, 2020

There’s nothing more annoying than a yapping poodle.
China should start by banning all US agricultural imports and dumping $1 trillion of Treasury Bonds.
And boycotting Jaguar/ Land Rover.
For starters.

A Sucker's Born every Minute
A Sucker's Born every Minute
Reply to  paul
July 22, 2020

I’d agree on the last part but those marques are now owned by India’s Tata Motors. They might ban them on that basis but you can hardly call them British any more.

Ford owned them before Tata but almost sunk the brands. I suppose the Brits can expect the same with any American trade dealers. “Wham, bam, you’re spent goods now no thanks to us so adios Ma’am.”

Olivia Kroth
July 24, 2020

In contrast to the UK, the Russian Federation is getting along very well with China.

TASS:

Russia-China relations reach unprecedented heights, Putin says

https://tass.com/politics/1181653

Olivia Kroth
July 24, 2020

TASS:

China demands that US shut down consulate in Chengdou

https://tass.com/world/1181887

Is the U.S. about to move its strategic naval base from Spain to Morocco?

What God Wants