U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, urged United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson to exclude Huawei and other Chinese state-directed telecommunications company products in their 5G telecommunications network infrastructure.
The full text of the letter Rubio sent Johnson this week is below:
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
I write to urge the United Kingdom, our closest ally, not to include Huawei Technologies or other Chinese state-directed telecommunications company products in your fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network infrastructure. As you know, Huawei is not a standard private-sector company. There is ample evidence to suggest that no major Chinese company is independent of the Chinese Government and Communist Party, and Huawei, which China’s government and military tout as a “national champion,” is no exception.
While the United Kingdom has strong communication and cybersecurity safeguards in place, there are widespread and serious concerns that such measures are inadequate given what the United States, and other Five Eye partners, know about Huawei. Ultimately, I have concerns about the impact that any decision to include Huawei in the United Kingdom’s 5G network will have on both your national security, and the Five Eyes joint intelligence cooperation with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
Although Huawei’s equipment may be cheaper than its competitors’ today, the cost of mitigating risks on such equipment will increase over time. More secure equipment from trustworthy suppliers will yield affordability over the equipment’s lifetime and help ensure sensitive data is not easily accessible to Chinese operators. Additionally, the cost of replacing such equipment if China exploits Huawei’s access should be a factor in your government’s deliberations.
Considering the strong concerns shared by U.S. and U.K. intelligence agencies on the risks posed by Chinese telecommunications equipment, I hope that you will promptly reject Huawei’s inclusion in any aspect of the United Kingdom’s 5G introduction and development.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.