London, Jul 15 (efe-epa).- Chinese state media on Wednesday called for “public and painful” retaliation against the United Kingdom after the government announced it would exclude Huawei from the country’s future 5G network.
An editorial in the Global Times, a branch of the Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, added that it was important not to turn the issue into a confrontation between the two countries.
It said prime minister Boris Johnson’s U-turn on the agreement with Huawei was a result of pressure from Washington.
“It’s necessary for China to retaliate against [the] UK, otherwise wouldn’t we be too easy to bully? Such retaliation should be public and painful for the UK,” the article said.
“It’s unnecessary to turn it into a China-UK confrontation. The UK is not the US, nor Australia, nor Canada. It is a relative ‘weak link’ in the Five Eyes. In the long run, the UK has no reason to turn against China, with the Hong Kong issue fading out.” The Five Eyes is a multilateral intelligence alliance comprising those four English-speaking nations and New Zealand.
Relations between London and Beijing have been strained in recent weeks after China’s decision to roll out a new national security law in the former British colony of Hong Kong.
The UK and the US said the law breaches a 1984 agreement that underpinned the return of the special-status territory from the UK to China in 1997 by effectively ending the one country, two systems principle.
Authorities in Hong Kong and China have dismissed the accusations, saying it preserves the system while stabilizing the Special Administrative Region, which has been gripped by pro-democracy protests for over a year.
Critics of the new law say it strips the territory of its autonomy and stifles freedoms enjoyed in Hong Kong for years.
Following an agreement during a National Security Council meeting Tuesday, Johnson walked back on the preliminary deal struck with Huawei and his government announced that UK companies would be banned from purchasing equipment from the Chinese tech giant from the end of this year.