PARIS, FRANCE -- United States National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien reacted Tuesday to the UK government's newly-announced decision to ban Huawei, a company effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, from its 5G wireless network. The Trump administration has been heavily lobbying London to pursue this course of action for months, expressing disappointment when Prime Minister Boris Johnson initially decided to leave the Huawei partnership in place. In December, O'Brien warned that "[the Chinese] are just going to steal wholesale state secrets, whether they are the UK’s nuclear secrets or secrets from MI6 or MI5," adding, “it is somewhat shocking to us that folks in the UK would look at Huawei as some sort of a commercial decision. 5G is a national security decision.” But in light of Beijing's cover up of the global coronavirus pandemic at crucial early states, coupled with the regime's unlawful anti-liberty crackdown in Hong Kong and ongoing human rights abuses, the Brits have reversed their position:
Britain announced on Tuesday that it would ban equipment from the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the country’s high-speed wireless network, a victory for the Trump administration and a reversal of an earlier decision that underscores how technology has taken center stage in the deepening divide between Western powers and China. In January Britain said that Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis. But since then Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing political pressure domestically to take a harder line against Beijing, and in May the United States imposed new restrictions to disrupt Huawei’s access to important components. Britain’s about-face signals a new willingness among Western countries to confront China, a determination that has grown firmer since Beijing last month adopted a sweeping new law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the semiautonomous city that was a British colony until 1997.
Amb. O'Brien, who is here in the French capital representing President Trump at Bastille Day celebrations, met earlier with his national security counterparts from Western European allies, including Mark Sedwill from the UK. In a new statement, O'Brien welcomed the British about-face (update - see exclusive video below):
UPDATE - I shot this exclusive video moments ago at the US ambassadorial residence in Paris:
Reaction was swift stateside, with former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley applauding the development on Twitter:
Great news! Britain shifts away from China by barring Huawei from its 5G network. https://t.co/7Uo8b3XTHZ— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) July 14, 2020
Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) said in a statement that this move strengthens the "Special Relationship" between the United States and United Kingdom:
Sasse: “The special relationship is stronger now, as are our joint efforts to expose the threats the CCP...” pic.twitter.com/OKE9cM4j2o— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 14, 2020