More than half of Britons want to see Huawei banned from 5G network amid China backlash – and majority support granting UK residency to oppressed Hong Kongers after crackdown
More than half of Britons want to see Huawei banned from the UK’s 5G network amid more evidence of a backlash against China.
With a decision expected within days, a poll for MailOnline found 52 per cent would approve if Boris Johnson cuts the firm out of the massive project.
Meanwhile, there is also strong support for standing with Hong Kongers by granting them residency after Beijing launched a major crackdown on free speech.
Ministers are considering whether to axe Huawei amid fears the network could be used for spying by the Chinese state.
A recent intelligence report said the security implications were ‘severe’ and that US sanctions on the firm may make its equipment less reliable and safe.
There are also calls from dozens of Tory MPs to strip Huawei’s technology from the wider telecoms network by 2024, and cut involvement in building nuclear power plants.
A poll for MailOnline found 52 per cent would approve if Boris Johnson cuts Huawei out of the massive 5G project
Speaking at a ‘People’s PMQs’ online event yesterday, Mr Johnson insisted he was ‘not a Sino-phobe’.
‘I want to engage with China. On the other hand we have to protect our critical national infrastructure. There are ways of doing that in the nuclear sector…
‘In the case of 5G there is a particular issue that is caused by the US sanctions on chips. We will have to find a way of doing that.’
Beijing has threatened consequences if the PM follows through with the move, and said it would show the UK is a slave to America.
The poll by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, conducted on Wednesday, found 52 per cent would approve of dropping Huawei from 5G, including 28 per cent who felt ‘strongly’ on the issue.
Just 12 per cent disapproved of the idea, although a substantial 36 per cent did not say either way.
It comes after the Mail revealed a controversial dossier this week accusing China of trying to manipulate key Establishment figures in the UK to back Huawei.
China imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong this month, bypassing the legislature in a move that has been condemned around the world.
Critics say the law effectively ends the ‘one country, two systems’ framework that guaranteed the territory a high level of autonomy and civil liberties when it reverted from British to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
Mr Johnson has vowed to extend residency rights for around 2.9million Hong Kongers who are eligible for British National Overseas passports, introduced in the 1980s under colonial rule.
However, those born after 1997 cannot apply, leaving out many young student activists at the core of the pro-democracy movement.
China condemned the British move, saying that holders of the BNO passports are Chinese citizens and that the UK had violated a commitment it had made not to grant them the right to stay in Britain.
Australian officials are considering options ‘to provide similar opportunities’ to those offered by Britain.
The poll found there is strong support for standing with Hong Kongers by granting them residency after Beijing launched a major crackdown on free speech