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China pushes Britain to let Huawei be part of 5G rollout

China's ambassador wants the UK to resist outside pressure.

The flags of China and the UK

It's decision time for Britain on China's Huawei and the 5G build-out.

Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

China wants Britain to let Huawei play a role in developing its 5G network, suggesting that Britain can't let fear get in the way of "win-win cooperation."

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK, wrote about his country's "good track record on security" in a Sunday Telegraph op-ed.

He suggested that Britain must resist pressure and decide "independently based on its national interests." The US has pressured its European allies not to adopt Huawei's 5G equipment, saying the gear could be used to spy for China. Huawei denies the allegations.

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The op-ed follows last week's report that the scandal-laden Chinese telecom would be restricted to "noncore" parts of the next generation cellular infrastructure, which prompted the US Homeland Security Department and UK lawmakers to note that the company could still pose security risks.

Lui acknowledged security risks must be taken seriously, but can't "be allowed to incite fear" or hurt cooperation. He highlighted Huawei's £2 billion ($2.6 billion) and 7,500-job contribution to the British economy as evidence of what they can achieve.

Responding to the op-ed, a UK government spokesperson repeated its statement from last week, noting that it's conducting an "evidence-based review."

Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published at 5:11 a.m. PT.
Updated at 5:29 a.m. PT: Adds UK government response.