Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to reduce the involvement of Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd in the UK 5G network following the coronavirus crisis, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Johnson asked officials to plan to reduce China’s participation in British infrastructure to zero by 2023, the newspaper reported on Friday.
Johnson should use China less as a means to revive trade talks with President Donald Trump after Britain’s departure from the European Union, the newspaper said.
Downing Street declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier Friday, The Times reported that Johnson had asked officials to end Britain’s dependence on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports.
Beijing is criticized for its management of the coronavirus epidemic, which started in China. Beijing denies US allegations that the outbreak was not transparent.
“He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China, but the deal with Huawei is going to be cut considerably. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei’s participation as quickly as possible, “said a source quoted by the Telegraph.
The development would be a change of direction for Britain, which confirmed in late April that it would allow Huawei to play a role in building its 5G phone network.
Britain decided in January to allow Huawei into what the government has claimed to be insensitive parts of the network, capping its involvement at 35%.
The United States has raised security concerns over Huawei equipment and has warned that allies who use it in their networks may be cut off from valuable intelligence sharing flows.