LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that Huawei’s opponents should suggest alternatives to China’s technology company when countries start building next-generation wireless networks. Johnson made the comments after US national security and telecommunications officials met with their counterparts in London and his government is deciding whether Huawei will participate in Britain’s new 5G networks.
“British people deserve access to the best technology possible,” Johnson said in an interview with the BBC. “Now, if people oppose one brand or another, then they should tell us what the alternative is, right?” Johnson noted that, on the other hand, “I do not want, as prime minister of Great Britain, to build infrastructure that will be detrimental to our national security and our ability to cooperate with Five Eyes intelligence partners,” including the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.The United States has tried to persuade its European allies not to use Huawei equipment in next-generation super-fast telecommunications networks, faced with concerns that China’s authorities will force the company to facilitate electronic espionage, an accusation that Huawei denies. US officials have repeatedly warned that they could refrain from sharing intelligence with any country that uses Huawei networks.Huawei said it relies on the British government to decide “evidence-based rather than non-accusations confirmed.”