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Trump likely to push Britain to ban Huawei

June 05,2019
U.S. President Donald Trump will wade into Britain’s Brexit crisis on Tuesday and is likely to demand that Prime Minister Theresa May’s successor ban China’s Huawei from 5G networks, as protesters mock the U.S. president across London.

Feted by Queen Elizabeth and heir Prince Charles on the first day of his state visit to Britain, Trump turns to politics on Tuesday with talks in Downing Street, a news conference scheduled for 12:45 p.m. and a dinner that could include leaders of Brexit, such as Boris Johnson, the favourite to succeed May.

Trump brings with him a list of demands for the closest ally of the United States in Europe, including for a tougher British stance toward telecoms giant Huawei.

At a lavish banquet in Buckingham Palace, Trump praised the queen as “a great, great woman” and said the United States and Britain shared an enduring alliance.

“As we honour our shared victory and heritage, we affirm the common values that will unite us long into the future: freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, the rule of law and reverence for the rights given to us by almighty God,” he said.

The state visit, promised by May back in January 2017 when she became the first foreign leader to meet him after he took office, is cast as a chance to celebrate Britain’s “special relationship” with the United States, boost trade links and reaffirm security cooperation.

But the collapse of May’s premiership over Brexit and Trump’s penchant for ignoring the conventions of modern diplomacy have made the trip one of the most unconventional state visits in recent British history.

Before Air Force One even touched down on British soil, Trump praised Johnson, the former foreign secretary and leading Brexit campaigner, and advised a sharp exit from the European Union (EU) on Oct. 31.

Brexit is the most significant geopolitical move for Britain since World War II, and if it happens, London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 EU members.

Huawei will stop talks in London after the British government appeared to defy Trump administration demands and allow the Chinese company a limited role in building 5G networks.

The Trump administration has told allies not to use Huawei’s 5G technology and equipment because it fears that would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.

Notwithstanding Britain’s enduring alliance with the United States, some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.

Reuters


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