February 9, 2020 / 10:08 AM / 16 days ago

Anti-Huawei UK lawmakers conducting 'witch-hunt': Chinese ambassador

FILE PHOTO: Chinese Ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming talks to the crowd following the Chinese Lunar New Year parade through central London, Britain January 26, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - Senior members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives who have demanded Chinese telecoms giant Huawei must not have a role in Britain’s 5G mobile network are conducting “a kind of witch-hunt”, China’s ambassador to London said on Sunday.

Last month the government said “high-risk vendors” such as Huawei would be allowed into the non-sensitive parts of the 5G network, although their involvement will be capped at 35%.

Asked about a letter to Conservative lawmakers by several former ministers expressing concern over Huawei, Liu Xiaoming told the BBC: “They are totally wrong, I think what they are doing is a kind of a witch-hunt. Huawei is a private-owned company, nothing to do with the Chinese government and the only problem they have is they are a Chinese company.”

The Chinese government was pleased with Britain’s decision, he added, although not “100% satisfied” because the 35% cap “does not show your principle of a free economy, free competition”.

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Mark Potter

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