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Huawei exclusion from 5G sends 'bad signal,' Chinese ambassador warns UK

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming suggests that China's investment in the UK might suffer.

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China warned that Britain shouldn't exclude Huawei from its 5G development. 

Angela Lang/CNET

China's ambassador to the UK has warned Britain's government that barring the use of Huawei equipment from the country's 5G network could hurt trade relations and investment. It's yet another twist in the international relations saga as the US puts pressure on its allies to avoid dealing with the telecommunications equipment maker.

"It will send a very bad message not only to Huawei but also to Chinese businesses," Lui told the BBC, noting that it could lead to "bad effects not only on trade but also on investment."

The ambassador echoed several of the talking points from an April op-ed in which he urged Britain not to let fear get in the way of "win-win cooperation" with China. The US doesn't want its European allies to adopt Huawei's 5G equipment, saying the gear could be used to spy for China. Huawei denies the allegations.

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In April, a report suggested that Huawei would be restricted to "noncore" parts of Britain's next-generation cellular infrastructure. A decision on this had been expected in recent weeks, but it was delayed by Prime Minister Theresa May's Theresa May's decision to step down, according to Reuters.

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

First published at 6:11 a.m. PT.
Updated at 6:37 a.m. PT: Adds more details.