UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to reduce Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's involvement in Britain's 5G network in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Johnson has asked officials to make plans to reduce China’s involvement in British infrastructure to zero by 2023. Johnson is expected to use less reliance on China as a means to boost trade talks with U.S. President Donald Trump in the aftermath of Britain’s departure from the European Union, according to reports.
Downing Street declined to comment. Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Earlier on Friday, The Times reported that Johnson has instructed civil servants to make plans to end Britain’s reliance on China for vital medical supplies and other strategic imports.
Beijing is being criticised for its handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which began in China. Beijing denies U.S. allegations it has not been transparent about the outbreak. “He (Johnson) still wants a relationship with China but the Huawei deal is going to be significantly scaled back. Officials have been instructed to come up with a plan to reduce Huawei’s involvement as quickly as possible,” a source was quoted by the Telegraph as saying.