China using Huawei to drive a wedge between U.K. and U.S., American senator says

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China is using telecoms giant Huawei to try to drive a wedge between Britain and the United States, Republican senator Tom Cotton told British lawmakers on Tuesday.

Cotton is one of several members of the U.S. Congress who have sought to put pressure on Britain to reverse its January decision to give China’s Huawei a limited role in building Britain’s 5G networks.

READ MORE: Bell, Telus reveal 5G deals with European firms in major blow to Huawei

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“It is my hope that the special relationship remains strong although I fear China is attempting to drive a hi-tech wedge between us using Huawei,” Cotton told the British parliament’s defence committee.

The United States has raised security concerns about Huawei equipment, saying it could be used to steal Western secrets, and has warned that allies that use it in their networks risked being cut off from valuable intelligence sharing. Huawei has repeatedly denied the U.S. allegations.

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“It’s clear that market position, rather than security concerns, is what underpins America’s attack on Huawei. The committee was given no evidence to substantiate security allegations,” said Huawei vice president Victor Zhang.

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