UK edges closer to US administration in heat of China standoff
LONDON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday following London’s diplomatically fraught severing of ties with China’s Huawei and retaliation for Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong.
The top US diplomat’s last visit to London in January came just days after Johnson ignored warnings from Washington and allowed the private Chinese tech giant to help roll out Britain’s 5G network.
It was a frosty affair that saw Pompeo accuse Britain of endangering Western intelligence-sharing by putting China at the heart of its next-generation data system.
Britain’s relationship with China was then blooming as Johnson sought lucrative partners that could fill the void left by the UK’s exit in January from the European Union.
But the months that followed have seen Britain edge ever closer to US President Donald Trump’s administration in its geopolitical tug-of-war with China.
Johnson’s most dramatic policy reversal saw him order UK mobile providers to stop buying 5G equipment from Huawei starting next year and remove existing gear by 2027