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Chinese ambassador says Huawei UK 5G debate a "witch hunt"

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The Chinese ambassador to the UK has said that the senior Conservatives that wanted to see Huawei (opens in new tab) removed from the country’s 5G infrastructure development were conducting a “witch hunt”.

A group of Conservatives, including four former cabinet ministers, wrote to Tory MPs, seeking a ban on Huawei which they deemed a “high-risk” vendor.

Speaking to the BBC (opens in new tab), however, Liu Xiaoming said that such figures were, "totally wrong".

"I think what they are doing is a kind of a witch-hunt," he said. "Huawei is a private-owned company, nothing to do with the Chinese government... the only problem they have is they are a Chinese company."

Commenting on the fact that Huawei was not banned, he said that the country has “ambitious plans”, but still criticised the 35 per cent cap that Huawei currently has.

“The reason why the prime minister decided to keep Huawei is he has a very ambitious plan for the UK, he wants to have 5G coverage in the UK by 2025, and Huawei can help."

Huawei (opens in new tab) was left in the crossfire of a trade war between the US and China. The US government claims Huawei’s 5G infrastructure could be abused by the Chinese government for espionage, and has thus deemed it a threat to national security.

The US urged its allies, the UK included, not to do business with the Chinese, and even said it would withhold important intelligence from countries where Huawei’s 5G infrastructure was installed.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.