US ambassador warns decision to hand Huawei role in 5G could hit intelligence sharing after Australian MPs ‘cancel visit to Britain over row’
- Boris Johnson approved limited role for Huawei in UK’s 5G network in January
- US has warned the move could damage intelligence sharing with its allies
- Australian MPs have reportedly cancelled trip to UK over Huawei-linked row
The US has issued a stark warning that intelligence sharing could be put at risk by the decision to allow Huawei a role in the 5G network.
Donald Trump conveyed the tough message to key allies including the UK and France at a security conference in Munich last night.
The American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said the president told him to make clear ‘any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardise our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level’.
The rebuke came after Boris Johnson sparked fury from Mr Trump by announcing that the Chinese tech giant will be allowed a limited role in Britain’s communications upgrade.
Australian MPs are also believed to have cancelled a visit to the UK next month amid the bitter row over Huawei.
Boris Johnson sparked fury from Donald Trump by announcing that the Chinese tech giant will be allowed a limited role in Britain’s communications upgrade
The American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said the president told him to make clear ‘any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardise our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level’
Mr Johnson gave the go-ahead for the company to help build 5G in January, despite concerns by allies including the US. It will be subject to tough restrictions, such as being barred from the ‘core’ network and a maximum 35 per cent market share.
Despite a relatively muted response in public, Mr Trump was said to have been ‘apoplectic’ with anger in a phone call to Mr Johnson.
Mr Grenell, who has been attending the high-profile security conference in Munich, said on Twitter last night: ‘@realDonaldTrump just called me from AF1 and instructed me to make clear that any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardize our ability to share Intelligence and information at the highest level.’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the conference on Saturday that Huawei was a ‘Trojan horse for Chinese intelligence.’
The tech firm has dismissed the US allegations and Beijing has complained of ‘economic bullying.’
The Australian Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee was scheduled to arrive at the end of March and meet with the House of Commons intelligence committee, Britain’s security agencies and other national security figures during the first week of April.
However, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the visit has been abruptly cancelled in the wake of an angry letter.
The UK’s High Commissioner Victoria Treadell is believed to have written to two Australian MPs to demand an explanation about the leaked conversations involving British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.
Mr Raab met with parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee during a visit that was aimed at securing closer ties in the UK’s post-Brexit era.
The British High Commissioner was reportedly angered that those conversations were leaked to the media, showing that Australian MPs had criticised the UK for allowing Huawei into its 5G network.
Australia – which, like the US, is part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance – has banned the Chinese firm from its 5G network because of spying fears.
Mr Trum p was said to have vented his anger in a phone call with Mr Johnson (pictured in Downing Street last week)