China telecoms

This week President Trump issued an Executive Order requiring tougher regulation and bans of telecoms equipment from unnamed “foreign adversaries” that threaten the US national security. At the same time briefing occurred that he has in mind China in general and the Huawei  company in particular.

It is clear the US thinks Chinese involvement in digital systems can pose a future threat to their security and might give the Chinese state access to secrets and the ability to disrupt should it wish to do so. Most comment has concentrated on whether Huawei would ever act for the Chinese state in this way, and whether they have a possible “backdoor” into the systems and data on systems in the west where they provide hardware. They deny both suggestions.  There is also the issue of the nature of the US/China relationship that underlies these concerns, with the USA effectively calling China an adversary and treating the Chinese state as a potential threat.

Should America’s allies adopt the same posture as Mr Trump wishes? This will be an issue when he next visits.


  1. Iain Gill
    May 17, 2019

    Yes trump is correct on this.

    He is also correct on tarrifs.

    1. Nigo
      May 17, 2019

      I do not agree. This is posturing by Trump that we are all being caught up in. Let us see the scientific evidence. Vodafone who have analysed the kit forensically point to poor/outdated design that has/is being rectified.

      Does anyone think that China cannot achieve whatever it wants with far more subtlety than this front door sledgehammer?

      The alleged continuing industrial espionage, ignoring Intellectual Property rights or certainly ‘stealing’ it from companies they have invested in?

      They are a major investor in our energy industry, what are they going to do, build our power stations and then plunge us into darkness?

      A far greater economic threat to both the US and therefore the rest of the world is if China, as the biggest holder of US bonds decided to dump them. Of course Trump doesn’t mention that. It won’t because it would means it’s own economic suicide.

      I wonder if there is a presidential election coming up? Cynical me thinking that is influencing Trumps pronouncements!

      1. Hope
        May 17, 2019

        Germany imports over half its gas from Russia, that is a real threat. Mayhab has dinner with a Putin confident two weeks ago along with ‘the girls’ from cabinet! Despite false faux outrage over Skrippels being poisoned by Russia in UK!

        Mayhab warned by Dearlove and other intelligence specialists not to use Haewei but ignores them! Par for course. Sidwell having too much sway and influence. He needs to be sacked over Williamson incident.

        Still no fair, proper process for Williamson or Scruton’s sackings, Mayhab left to stay in office without any date of departure despite overwhelming evidence the party need her gone yesterday!

        When you thought the Tories have shot themselves in the foot they do it again andagain! IDS complaining about Mayhab remaining in the DT, he voted for her servitude plan last time around and we could be in a Servitude Treaty now because of him and likes of Johnson and Raab.

        All potential future leaders of the Tory party have shown themselves unfit to lead. Who would want them in a crisis or to stand up to a tyrant, when they cannot stand up to Mayhab!

        Nor can these people raise the standards of MPs expenses after the scandal ten years ago, we now read 377 MPs have their credit cards suspended for improper use, including Corbyn and Johnson! That is the majority of the swamp back at improperly using/fiddling their expenses.

      2. Lester Beedell
        May 17, 2019

        I would rather trust Donald Trump anytime, of course the Chinese would say that we can trust them and how do we know that they haven’t developed something that we are currently unable to detect?

        Far better to be safe than sorry, presumably they aren’t the only producers of this equipment?

      3. Dennis Zoff
        May 17, 2019


        Just a thought:

        How many US Communication Companies are lobbying the US Government to take a strong stance with regards to the uber competitiveness of China’s industry in the Global Telecoms market?

        US foreign politics, when it comes to business interests, is a thinly veiled cover for their Corporate international dominance! Shame the UK does not follow suit!

    2. Peter Wood
      May 17, 2019

      Yes on China/Huawei ban, China is not interested in the rule of law, only the rule and survival of the Party.

      It’s a shame Mr. Trump doesn’t understand Tarriffs…

      1. Ian wragg
        May 17, 2019

        Huawei is the Chinese State. Trump is 100% correct.
        As for Tarrifs he has shown up the EU for the protectionist racket it is.

        1. Nigl
          May 17, 2019

          Who cares if it is the state. Sounds like the comment is more aimed at their political system rather than the facts. How far do the tentacles of the CIA etc reach?

          The Bloomberg report was ‘fake’ completely wrong now there’s a surprise.

          Let us have independently verified evidence. I seem to remember a previous President and our PM going to war on similarly false information.

          This smacks of ‘beware the bogeyman’ syndrome for political purposes.

      2. Roy Grainger
        May 17, 2019

        Trump is a negotiator – I agree that this makes it hard for us to interpret all his actions given that our experience of negotiators is based on May and Robbins.

        1. Mitchel
          May 17, 2019

          Is he?His public call for the Iranians to call him has been met with a “No,there is no possibility for negotiations” from their Foreign Minister in Japan en route to China yesterday.The Revolutionary Guards commander has also said they would not engage with him.They are going to face him down with the backing of China and Russia-and it looks like he is already softening with his request to the Swiss to act as intermediary.

      3. Iain Gill
        May 17, 2019

        Given that China undercuts other countries by using cheaper less rigorous anti pollution kit, both in their factories but also in their electricity generating plants, using cheaper less rigorous safety kit, and routinely uses intellectual property without paying the corresponding licence fees (like software on their factory control systems), and all of these things are a large part of why they are able to undercut other countries… given these factors I think tariffs are reasonable. Indeed, I would put similar tariffs in against India for similar reasons.

      4. Hope
        May 17, 2019

        Malcolm Turnball also stated why he blocked Haewei from Australia. It is not just Trump. US pays the most so should have a large say.

        Mayhab is a threat to our national security on several fronts.

        1922 could have ousted her yesterday stop EU elections, kill Brexit Party by leaving the EU by end of May. It could have saved your party.

        Instead, the 1922 they have not got a fixed date for her to go only a date when they might next chat. They are allowing her to stay for EU elections that should not happen in betrayal of repeated public promises, continue talks with Corbyn while Robbins seeks relevant changes for Labour, so the Great White Brino can appear in June, Labour abstain on first reading to get it passed for custom union changes in second Reading! The public will notice the betrayal and Brexit Party not disappear by 2022.

        Your treacherous party deserves to be wiped out.

        1. Steve
          May 17, 2019


          But…..on the other hand the EU elections will be a good thing, as it is 99.9 % certain the conservatives will get one hell of a thrashing. Moreover Lab & Lib will be left wondering what’s hit them.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 17, 2019

      He is also correct on lowering taxes, the Paris Climate Accord, climate alarmism and energy policy in general.

      On tarrifs I feel we shall have to see how the chips settle in due course.

    4. Sir Joe Soap
      May 17, 2019

      Now you put BSC out of business as they’re unable to replace last year’s carbon tax credits for this year’s due to new EU rules – precisely the type of decision which is going to tie us up under May’s WA. Meanwhile, do Chinese companies have to follow this EU rule, I wonder?

      1. Big John
        May 17, 2019

        As the whole thing is a scam, based on fake science.
        It would be a good idea to dump the whole carbon trading rubbish, if/when we leave he EU.
        It is one of the things I can agree with Trump on.

        On the Huawei problem, I am not so sure.
        If they were ever caught spying on anyone, that would finish their bussiness.
        It could just be that he is tring to force us to use american kit so they can spy on us instead.

    5. Iain Moore
      May 17, 2019

      Yes Trump is correct, Western politicians have allowed China hollow out our industrial base and steal our company’s IP, and done nothing. Would China allow one of our companies to control some part of their critical infrastructure ? I don’t think so.

      Some of the abuse Trump gets is that he is showing up the decedent political classes in control of the West who can’t be bothered to lift a finger to defend our interests.

      1. Mitchel
        May 17, 2019

        The West hollowed out it’s industrial base all by itself by seeking higher profits through offshoring.

      2. Lester Beedell
        May 17, 2019

        I do so wish that Donald Trump was our leader, the American level of unemployment has dropped dramatically compared with Obama’s and he loves his Country, not drawing his Salary
        And I don’t care if I’m mocked for expressing those views.

        1. L Jones
          May 17, 2019

          You’ve voiced the opinion of many of us, Mr Beedell.
          There is so much vitriol when Mr T’s name is mentioned, it is really quite astounding.

        2. Chris
          May 17, 2019

          This list is from the White House website:

          He is, I believe, the greatest US President ever, and has achieved this with the Democrats actively working against him plus the over 90% negative media coverage, the media being the propaganda arm of the Dems and the deep state.

  2. margaret
    May 17, 2019

    Too much posturing between giants is not good for the UK. We are small Isles and at this present time in history have not wish to enlarge.We really need to be friends with all who act in an ethical way and not jump on anyone’s bandwagon.
    Good luck with lecture today .Many of us would attend if we were not working.

    1. jerry
      May 17, 2019

      @margaret: “We really need to be friends with all who act in an ethical way and not jump on anyone’s bandwagon.”

      Indeed, that is why we need to row back on the “Globalisation” bandwagon, just as Trump is doing! No country can carry on being an economic force if they simply export all their IP, jobs and bottom line profits.

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      May 17, 2019

      Oh poor us, poor you!

    3. Julie Dyson
      May 17, 2019

      Speaking of “posturing between giants”, Mr Corbyn has just today cancelled the talks with the Conservatives… my, aren’t we all surprised that nothing has come of it!

      Could it be, perhaps, because the “giants” are shrinking? Today’s YouGov poll:

      Brexit Party – 35%
      Lib Dem – 16%
      Lab – 15%
      Green – 10%
      Con – 9%
      CHUK – 5%
      UKIP – 3%
      Other – 7%

      Now who in their right mind would have predicted that just a month ago?!

    4. Fred H
      May 17, 2019

      margaret…the key is your expression ‘who act in an ethical way’..
      Are you content that China, USA, even India pass that test?

      1. Margaret
        May 17, 2019

        Yes but the contra key is posturing.which suggests unreliable sources of information for the sake of power pose.Do your believe everything you read?

        1. margaret
          May 17, 2019

          It is extremely difficult for everyone to read into a statement or event in a similar way , take for example the probable sarcastic comment from Joe Soap : he thinks he is showing how clever he is and that I am despairing about work and our smallness in relation to the giants, This is the opposite of how I feel . It was a courteous explanation of a desire to both go to work and listen to the lecture.
          When persons write down a statement or a proposition it illuminates their personality : what they are prepared to with hold for the sake of gentility and how strong they allow their language to be mirror their persona .

          1. margaret
            May 17, 2019

            omission of ‘to be to’ I am little careless in these small comment boxes.

  3. Mark B
    May 17, 2019

    Good morning

    President Trump is acting in America’s best interests and his decisions would have been influenced by his intelligence agencies. It is therefore such a pity that those entrusted with the same responsibility for the UK, do not seem to show the same level of concern.

    Historically business’s and businessmen have been used to gather intelligence, or act for intelligence agencies. One such was, wynne and penkovsky.

    The relationship between the Chinese government and business is much closer than we might be led to believe and I think it prudent to ensure that the UK is not embarrassed by security leaks further down the line – pun intended 🙂

  4. Alan Jutson
    May 17, 2019

    He probably is correct, but perhaps this should have been handled in a rather more sensitive manner.

    Should the UK also be concerned ?

    Certainly, why tempt fate !

  5. Peter Miller
    May 17, 2019

    Bloomberg recently reported that Vodafone found Huawei had hidden ‘backdoors’ in the software it had supplied.

    Presumably those ‘backdoors’ are more sophisticated now and much more difficult to find.

    Just another example of Theresa May’s appalling lack of judgement.

    1. Peter Parsons
      May 17, 2019

      And Bloomberg were completely wrong in their reporting. What Vodafone Italy found was a telnet service used for debugging network equipment (a standard way of doing this used by many vendors) and which was totally inaccessible to anyone outside of Vodafone Italy’s network, despite the claims in Bloomberg’s report.

      Far worse security issues have been identified in similar network equipment supplied by US manufacturer Cisco in the last year.

    2. Mockbeggar
      May 17, 2019

      I would be surprised if Huawei can’t already capture low level information about people who have bought their telephones.

      Incidentally, Australia does much more trade with China than we do and yet they have blocked Huawei from installing equipment for their 5G network and it doesn’t seem to have hurt their trade at all.

      1. Mitchel
        May 17, 2019

        I understand China has cut back it’s coal imports from Australia as a result(in favour of Russia and Indonesia).Australia needs to watch it’s step-it’s growth has been largely on the back of China and most of what it exports consists of commodities which can be bought from other sources-notably Russia.

        When the Amur River Rail bridge is complete later this year(basic structure complete,tracks currently being laid),connecting Russian Manchuria with Chinese Manchuria(to give them their old names),supplies are expected to flood across-and Russia and China have committed to double their already large bilateral trade over the next 5/6 years.

        1. Mitchel
          May 17, 2019

          That bridge,btw,is hugely symbolic of the strength of that relationship-after 28 years of um-ing and ah-ing,it was given the go-ahead two years ago.

        2. anon
          May 18, 2019

          China probably wants to reduce coal use, because of pollution.

          It is a major investor in renewables and tree planting. Why import coal unless you must?

  6. jerry
    May 17, 2019

    With regards the question you pose, Yes, and not just on the telecoms issues, but his much wider stance with regarding the ‘Made in China’ problem.

    There is a bigger issue here for digital telecoms, not just from China, as we have seen this week with regards the problems a mobile messaging app has had. there needs to be a root and branch reassessment of 5G and beyond, but perhaps not here and not in public!

  7. Pominoz
    May 17, 2019

    Why should the UK or any other allied nation take the risk? Huawei surely are not the only option. Cost should not be a consideration in these circumstances. Take an option where safety is more assured.

  8. mark riley
    May 17, 2019

    “They deny both suggestions” – Mandy Rice Davies comes to mind!

    1. Fred H
      May 17, 2019

      mark…Ha Ha! – – they would, wouldn’t they – precisely.

  9. NickW
    May 17, 2019

    Given that our Government wants us to believe that Russia is a sworn enemy intent on attacking the UK at the drop of a hat, it is beyond ridiculous to give China, a close ally of Russia, potential access to secret information( and vulnerable infrastructure); information which will beyond reasonable doubt, be shared with the Russians.

    The only explanation for this absurd action by our Government is that they are lying about the threat from Russia which they know to be non existent, as do the rest of us; perhaps, as is the case in the USA, too many in or close to Government have shares in the Arms Industry.

    1. Mitchel
      May 17, 2019

      Too many in or around the government are assets of the US deep state or neo-con fellow travellers-in their impotence they get a reciprocal thrill from the exercise of US power.

  10. formula57
    May 17, 2019

    Surely the need is to secure our systems of communication so that whether supplied by China, the US or anyone else we can proceed confident that we are not compromised.

    The US government is habitually aggressive in furthering the aims of American commercial and industrial interests and so that aspect ought not to be overlooked in assessing the official US view. China of course is governed by its Communist Party and so is not a natural friend in whom we can repose a high degree of trust.

  11. Kevin
    May 17, 2019

    Theresa May’s EU deal turns us into a vassal state, and she has staked her career
    on that deal. This undermines belief in the idea that she would take her prime
    ministerial responsibilities seriously when it comes to national security. Does it
    matter to her that a foreign government might be able to “disrupt” the UK when, as
    you have written, “the EU would be able to legislate and spend against UK interests”?

  12. oldtimer
    May 17, 2019

    Bearing in mind the well documented cases of the UK government intercepting communications (from steaming open letters to GCHQs more advanced techniques) this should not come as a surprise. All governments will want to gain intelligence by whatever means are available to them.

    1. hefner
      May 17, 2019

      as if most telecoms systems did not have built-in “back doors” to allow security services to potentially check and “have a look”. The only real problem is whose security services have this potential access, China’s, Russia’s, USA’s, Israel’s, UK’s, any other’s? Can we be sure that an originally safe system cannot be fiddled with later because of “national security requirements” (see demands on Apple a couple of years back)?
      I always find funny guys stirring this kind of questions when their level of competence on the topics is, I would assume from experience, close to epsilon.

      1. libertarian
        May 17, 2019


        Whilst I agree totally with you and old timer You better let us know what your expertise credentials are in advanced digital technology or maybe stop spoiling the few posts you get right with sanctimonious piffle

  13. Lifelogic
    May 17, 2019

    I tend to think we should do the same as the US on this issue, even if only so they have more confidence in cooperation with the UK on sensitive information. Also any problems that might arise with any of the systems are more likely to be spotted by the US or UK using similar systems and cooperating.

  14. Roy Grainger
    May 17, 2019

    Well we know for a fact they put backdoors into the Italian Vodafone network. But they said this was a simple mistake and they would remove them. But a year later they were still there.

    May said it was a “hard-headed” decision to use them – we should find out why she was so keen – I assume it’s because they are close to the EU somehow and she prefers to appease the EU at the expense of the USA. If so this makes the decision bone-headed rather than hard-headed.

    1. Julie Dyson
      May 17, 2019

      I’m with you on this one, Roy. To borrow some Americanisms: Huawei got caught with their hand in the cookie jar and all they managed was a lame excuse. Was it deliberate and not just an oversight as they claim? Does a bear crap in the woods?

      It simply isn’t worth the security risk, no matter how slight, so why is our government even contemplating this? It’s not like there aren’t a number of other, equally viable and cost effective — and arguably far more secure — options. Something is amiss.

    2. Peter Parsons
      May 17, 2019

      “we know for a fact they put backdoors into the Italian Vodafone network”

      No they didn’t. The ill-researched Bloomberg article has been discredited by tech security experts.

  15. rick hamilton
    May 17, 2019

    China is a one-party, Communist, totalitarian dictatorship which seeks to control every aspect of its citizens’ lives. Its government intends to restore Chinese national pride, power and influence in the world after (as they see it) centuries of humiliation by western powers.

    The idea that Houwei is a private company and nothing to do with government is a pathetic delusion. No democratic country, especially a member of NATO, should allow the Chinese within a million miles of their national security systems. May’s approach simply reveals – yet again – her appalling judgement on almost every issue..

  16. agricola
    May 17, 2019

    No individual or company within China is a free agent. If push comes to shove they are at the disposal of the Chinese government. As a consequence their electronics giants pose a security risk to any democracy. They should never be allowed as a Trojan Horse into the heart of our communications systems. When you consider that bored teenagers from the confines of their bedrooms have hacked into the Pentagon, then it should not be a problem for an electronics giant in China with an established hardware base in the system. Trump and Dearlove should be listened to and their advice taken.

    Thinking about it, chinese intelligence have already had a small victory, thanks to May, in causing division in the best intelligence cooperation we have around the World.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    May 17, 2019

    Of course.
    Undoubtedly the Brexit Party would stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States on this issue, but your party in government refuses to do so. Clue: look at how many of Huawei’s officers are ex-members of/advisors to Cameron’s government, and remainers to boot.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      May 17, 2019

      You will soon be defending your socialist party against a multitude of proper Conservative policies from the Brexit party. Of course, you’ll try and put another puppet into the frame – Gove, Johnson, Leadsom, Hunt? They all voted for the WA when the chips were down and will also betray any tax cutting or real Conservative policies. We won’t believe you!

      1. Fed up with the bull
        May 17, 2019

        None of them can be trusted to deliver Brexit. I will not vote Tory unless a true Brexiteer such as our host is PM and a new cabinet is appointed who all want the same. Unlikely so Brexit Party it is.

    2. Andy
      May 17, 2019

      You wouldn’t know. The Brexit party has only one policy.

      And that is to leave on WTO rules.

      One thing is clear from the polls. The vast majority will not vote for Farage.

      1. Richard1
        May 17, 2019

        indeed, the majority never vote for one party. but its surprising to me how many people are going to vote Brexit given its clear policy of WTO brexit – which until v recently was held to be a small minority view. By contrast there is no evidence of any surge in support for remain, evidence for which would be strong support for the clear anti-brexit parties: change, libdem, snp, green etc

        1. anon
          May 18, 2019

          WTO brexit is the start position!

          Its the way to go. Even the EU has stated so and wants to improve on this, when a true & fair , substance over form, leave happens.

          It wont happen while you have a remainer establishment with no respect for democracy.

          We should expedite non eu trade deals first.

      2. Edward2
        May 17, 2019

        The polls show a vast majority will not vote for any of the main parties either Andy, so your claim is meaningless.

      3. Fred H
        May 17, 2019

        andy….and the usual accuracy of polls has been? The Brexit Party makes it clear that leaving the EU is No 1, other policies will emerge. Define vast. It is quite possible that BREXIT party might get close to 51%, but if not, other sympathetic parties will exceed the 51%.

      4. Roy Grainger
        May 17, 2019

        Name a party. Any one you like. The vast majority will not vote for it.

        What point are you trying to make ?

      5. Julie Dyson
        May 17, 2019

        “One thing is clear from the polls. The vast majority will not vote for Farage.”

        Unfortunately for your contention, Andy, they don’t need to:

        2010 – Conservative – 307 seats – 36.1% of the vote.
        2015 – Conservative – 331 seats – 36.9% of the vote.
        2017 – Conservative – 218 seats – 42.4% of the vote.

        Throw a third party into that mix with a very strong following (Brexit Party, currently polling 35% for EU elections), not to mention a resurgent LibDem party eating into the staunch Remain vote of the big two, and virtually anything is possible at the next GE.

        1. Julie Dyson
          May 17, 2019

          Edit to above — Typo: 2017 was of course 318 seats, not 218.

          1. Andy
            May 17, 2019

            Yes. What is possible at the next election is that Farage could win a few seats. Maybe even a few dozen. And, frankly, who cares about that. He’ll always be an irrelevance in Westminster.

      6. libertarian
        May 17, 2019


        You better get your kids to explain to you how 35% in the polls means that your “vast majority won’t vote for Farage” looks a bit stupid.

        1. Andy
          May 17, 2019

          Not really. Because, well, maths.

          If 35% vote for him. 65% do not. WTO Brexit not very popular is it?

          1. Julie Dyson
            May 17, 2019

            I’ll help you remove those blinkers:

            WTO Brexit (TBP + UKIP) = 38%
            Remain (LD + GRN + CHUK) = 31%
            May’s BRINO (CON) = 9%
            Who the hell knows? (LAB + Other) = 22%

            Far from a WTO Brexit being “not very popular is it?” it is in fact presently the single most popular option.

            Or are those blinkers in fact a blindfold?

  18. Caterpillar
    May 17, 2019

    I think the final sentence is interesting. I would want UK to repeat clear confirmation that UK is a strong ally of USA in contrast to EU countries which seem to have signalled wanting to stand up to USA and Russia (except in gas).

    Clarification of positions on (i) historical treatment of IPR and rectification, (ii) current and future position in IPR, (iii) current and future position in market access, subsidies etc (i.e. get our ducks in a row).
    Clarification of reason for infrastructure position – why is UK confident in 5g infrastructure but other countries not? Will UK be less competitive without Chinese infrastructure?
    Clarification of views on N.Korea…
    Are UK and USA objectives the same or not?

    I think many clarifications/confirmations needed but at the moment I would be tempted to be in (substantial) agreement with USA.

  19. Lifelogic
    May 17, 2019

    Allister Heath was sound as usual yesterday:- Tories are deluded if they think the Brexit Party can’t supplant them. Leadership contenders are obsessed with appealing to the centre ground.

    I never understand this view for the right. Thatcher won three elections (four really with Major as her man) until the public realised what he actually was. Meanwhile the big government, high tax, pro EU lefties Heath, Major, Cameron and May have all been disasters in elections and for the country. Cameron had no excuse at all. He had two open goal elections and claimed he was a low tax at heart Conservative EUsceptic alas he was just lying. Had he been so we would be in a far better place now. He even had the ability, just not the working compass.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 17, 2019

      For the left however they are better moving to the centre ground, as we saw with Blair. This as the far left is economic lunacy or economic suicide as we can see with Corbyn & McDonnell. Most voters even on the left can see this. Mc Donnall the other day sees socialism as like the NHS. He seems to want the whole of the UK run like this dire, rationed, delayed, death causing, often incompetent, state virtual monopoly. Get what you are given (or not given) and lump it. The envy of no one sensible NHS. Far better and cheaper systems exist, indeed the NHS is one of the worst systems about in terms of outcomes for a developed nation.

      1. Richard1
        May 17, 2019

        So the Labour Party / Momentum now support: confiscation of energy Co and other shares at a fraction of their value (‘issuing bonds rather than paying cash’ – yes the likes of McDonnell and Long-Bailey really can’t see the exact equivalence!); a minimum income to all so we all feel beholden to the state; maybe a 4-day week; massive tax rises; capital and exchange controls; rejection of our close alliance with the US etc.

        The person whose job it is to lead the intellectual challenge to this disastrous marxist gobbledygook is the leader of the Conservative Party. Mrs May is absolutely and completely failing to do that, lets make sure she is replaced by someone who makes clear to voters that the choice at the next election is Venezuela without the sunshine – or not.

        1. Lifelogic
          May 18, 2019

          Exactly May is almost as dire and socialist as Corbyn.

      2. Pominoz
        May 18, 2019

        From here in Australia, you comments prompt me to look back. My memory of the NHS as it was then was lack of respect by patients -“It’s free, so I may as well use it” thereby placing unnecessary strain on the system by using it without having to think “Do I really need to?” Perhaps worse was the attitude of some (hopefully very few) practitioners “It’s free, so what do you expect?”

        Of course, it was far from free and provided a pretty decent service overall, but something was lacking on both sides by hiding the issue of real cost and thereby taking away the perception of value. Here in my part of Australia the provision of healthcare is incredible. I can get a doctor’s appointment on the day of my request and normally with my regular practitioner. There is competition for business between the various doctors surgeries. Hospitals, both public and private provide excellent patient care, with all hospital staff treating patients in a professional but friendly and caring way.

        Private companies compete to deliver blood tests and various types of scans. They are either paid by the patient, the insurer or by Medicare (NHS equivalent) No appointments are needed. Turn up and within less than half an hour the blood test is completed with results sent to the GP or specialist within two days. Choice of several providers all within a twenty minute drive of home – and I am in a rural location.

        Someone in charge of the NHS would do well to visit and study the system. It really works and I would not wish to return to the lottery of the NHS, which is what we are hearing from relatives back home.

        1. Lifelogic
          May 18, 2019


  20. Martyn G
    May 17, 2019

    Trump is right and the UK decision to use Hauwei equipment for 5G clearly threatens our security and involvement with the English-speaking ‘Five Eyes’ nations – another step, perhaps, to further isolate us from the world outside of the EU. The first duty of government is to preserve the security of our nation, yet since the decision was proclaimed to have been primarily made on cost, not national security grounds, the government has once again failed in its duty.

  21. Newmania
    May 17, 2019

    Trump is awful beyond all imagining but much of what he actually does Reagan might have done too. A reckoning with China was inevitable and also with European reliance on the US for Military spending. Unlike the UK he can afford both to borrow and to adopt a moderately protectionist policies. I agree with him on this .
    His visit however will be dominated by the abortion ban in Alabama and the possibility that due to Trump`s appointments this will go US- wide .
    The ensuing culture war will be deeply de-stabilizing and people will quickly see the parallels between this attack on women and the angry social conservatism that has inflicted Brexit on the UK.

    1. Richard1
      May 17, 2019

      the first part of this is quite sensible. we could add that trump is clearly right on the massive theft by china of western IP, on Iran, on North Korea, on Venezuela, probably on Huawei. Pretty much everything in fact. and there’s a boom in the US.

      The brexit vote had nothing to do with abortion, its simply about whether the UK needs and wants to be part of a supranational governmental structure, or whether like eg Switzerland, she prefers independence. I don’t think Remain will get on the front foot of the debate until the silly insults are dropped and the actual questions addressed.

    2. Roy Grainger
      May 17, 2019

      No his visit won’t be dominated by Alabama, except of course in the little political bubble you inhabit.

      1. Andy
        May 17, 2019

        By ‘little political bubble’ you women and any man who is not a misogynist?

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    May 17, 2019

    Of course we should support our closest ally. Mrs May seems more interested in keeping us close to the EU (which really means under its control and direction) than the USA.
    Now we are told she will set a timetable for standing down from office. Seems like a repeat of yesterday’s news or Groundhog Day! The longer it dithers, the competence of a Parliamentary Party that cannot remove its own incompetent Prime Minister is severely damaged.

  23. Dominic
    May 17, 2019

    China is a brutal totalitarian State. Democracy is an anathema to the CCP. Liberty and freedom is an abhorrence. The CCP is a danger not only to Chinese people but to the people of supposedly free nations like ours.

    Stop viewing the Chinese State through the prism of trade, economy and commerce. It is a direct threat to our freedoms and liberties and god knows we have enough of those threats from the British state as they continue to embrace leftist policy of crushing freedom of expression

    A free press in China. No
    Democracy in China. No
    Do they tolerate dissent. No

    Trump is absolutely correct in his assessment of the threat posed by China and its geo-political ambitions and those Trump haters care not one jot about this threat. We had the same level of left wing arrogance regarding Thatcher-Reagan’s confrontation with Soviet Russia and their invasion and oppression of free nations.

    These left wing hypocrites enjoy the freedom to spout their crap from the comfort of the UK. Maybe they should embrace their communist dream and move to China, Cuba, Venezuela etc. No, they won’t do that. They prefer the prosperity and freedoms of the West

    The second coming of Marxist bile is a result of the Tory party refusing to confront the threat as they pander to the left on all things

    We will pay a heavy price for the spineless nature of the post Thatcher Tory party

  24. Know-Dice
    May 17, 2019

    So, Cisco etc. don’t have a CIA “backdoor” in any of their products?

    If you want to be sure of security, then any overseas products are quite likely to have governmental agency interference in one way or another..

    1. libertarian
      May 17, 2019

      Know – Dice

      Whilst that it very true the issue is WHO you dont want to have access, I would suggest that China is slightly worse than the CIA

  25. BOF
    May 17, 2019

    Quite simply, China is an autocratic state, not a democracy, with a President who is now in office for life if he wishes, and effectively a dictator. Whatever the state demands of Huawei, they must comply.

    The UK should follow its closest allies, US and Australia so far, and not give access to 5G.

  26. rose
    May 17, 2019

    Trump is on balance right about this. It appears we have already let them into BT and Vodafone. If corrective action has been taken how do we know nothing has been left behind?

    On Iran which you don’t mention, it looks as if the EU line is being taken here as usual – pro anyone who is anti American. Then the EU can justify the EU army.

    1. Iain Moore
      May 17, 2019

      It is disgraceful that May has signed up to several treaties to create an EU military AFTER we voted to leave the EU, like the European Defence Fund, Military Planning and Conduct Capability (military HQ) and the European Defence Industrial Development Programme ( I understand this restricts us to how much of our own military hardware we can build for ourselves).

      As far as I am aware this has net been debated in Parliament, the Rt Hon. Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP snuck off on Private jets to sign up to these treaties.

      1. rose
        May 17, 2019

        Sir Gwythian Prins said in his lecture to the Heritage Foundation that Duncan was in the May Cell, along with Hammond, Robbins, and Sedwill.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    May 17, 2019

    Whatever President Trump’s faults (and we all have them) he is not dumb or naive like most of our Cabinet. Again it beggars belief that this government is the only five eyes member that thinks Huawei is to be avoided at all costs. The disappointment is GW wrote a wimp reply letter after his sacking.

    Trump is right on all the major issues: Huawei, balance of trade ripoffs with China and Germany, EU Nato lack of financing, Iran, Venezuela ……

    1. A.Sedgwick
      May 17, 2019 not be to avoided…

      1. A.Sedgwick
        May 17, 2019

        I will try again: is not to be avoided….

  28. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    May 17, 2019

    Those in the UK, working in IT security and elsewhere, are well informed about Chinese efforts to obtain information from UK Government and UK industry.
    It is also in the public domain.

    The MOD must also be fully aware of it.

    Shame, that this knowledge does not permeate through to the eyes and ears of our great Prime Minister. But, as we know, those ‘tin ears’, are impermeable, when she chooses.

  29. costaselgreco
    May 17, 2019

    This is clearly an issue of the US lagging in 5G technology and reveals a panic in Washington that is hard to ignore. As to spying, what a joke of an explanation coming from the country that hosts the NSA and aligns with the next four largest spying networks collectively know as the Five Eyes. Pity that media commentary in the West is so skewed to unrealities.

  30. J Bush
    May 17, 2019

    Trump is a typical ‘Yank’. Brash and loud.

    This was always the polar opposite of the way the English (used to) operate. But Trump is also being measured against contemporary autocratic PC and cultural marxist nonsense, which seems so popular with May, the bulk of the politicians, civil servants and snowflakes in general. There is no doubt his stance seems outrageous to them.

    But actually no, it’s not. You have to look beyond the brash and loud, and look at purpose and action. There is no doubt that what he does is, invariably in the best interest of the US, which is more than can be said for the likes of May and Co.

    Reality beckons, who would you prefer to have fighting for the protection and defence of our country? Brash, loud and patriotic, or self-serving, deviant and traitorous liars?

    1. Fed up with the bull
      May 17, 2019

      Well said Bush. Trump stands up for America. Who have we got here? Farage, and I say bring it on.

      1. margaret howard
        May 17, 2019

        Farage? Well, the Americans coined the best phrase describing men like him:

        “Snake oil salesmen”

  31. Gareth Warren
    May 17, 2019

    Personally I do not trust China, neither from a nation to nation standpoint where they continue a bellicose stance against smaller nations. Examples such as telling France not to sail its warships along the Tiawan straight, ramming fishing vessels and the 9 dash claim with all its militarised islands. These are not friendly actions, in comparison Russia has put up with more and does little apart from buzz ships in the black sea.

    They do not act friendly with us, nor do they invest in Britain o0r any other country in the way Japan has to our mutual benefit.

    And on engineering they seem a poor example, the examples of backdoors found in Italy and Netherlands got a verbal confirmation that turned out as reliable as Theresa Mays word, I would not personally do business with them.

    For now I would happily put everything on pause with 5g, let the health issues be resolved (are they real?) and the prices drop. If we had to then buy US, EU, Japanese etc equipment in the meantime and tell China either we are investigating it which isn’t very honest, or tell them on this issue we will follow the US lead.

    We likely will face reprisals though with an anti=chinese position, but the benefits of 5g do not outweigh the friendship of the US.

    I think in all honesty we are approaching this wrongly, we would not buy a tank from the Chinese and our telecoms is equally important. Redefine core telecoms as a military/security decision and move on.

  32. Steven
    May 17, 2019

    It’s not just a question of sensitive materials being kept off the network, 5G is going to be so important to our lives that just turning the network off will cause major economic disruption.

    If the Chinese were to, say, invade Taiwan, and we responded with sanctions, what is to stop them instructing their vassal to turn off our networks and sabotage our economy?

    5G will be involved in emergency response networks, basic everyday household functions, universities, factory monitoring, healthcare, traffic control, airports and so on.

    Even if MI5/MI6 would not be vulnerable, our economy would be. We will become dependent on integrated electronic systems and therefore vulnerable.

    Using Huawei is madness. Yet another example of the bad government that has left us without the ability to build it and things like nuclear power stations ourselves.

    1. Tooley Stu
      May 17, 2019

      90 comments, and only the last few contain 5G.

      Untried and untested technology which has the same frequency as water.
      “The potential 5G band is very close to the 23.8 GHz frequency which is emitted by water vapour.” (source Sky News, 5G could interrupt weather forecasting)

      I could give you pages of info about the dangers of this latest EMF radiation, but please check it out yourselves. Just type ‘Dangers of 5g’ in a search.

      To your and your families health, the best wishes,
      Tooley Stu.

      1. Fred H
        May 17, 2019

        Tooley….sounds like advice to avoid running a bath, using a shower, and certainly not a sauna.

        Thanks for the rather late warning.

    2. Mitchel
      May 18, 2019

      Steven,just to set the record straight ,Taiwan can’t be “invaded” because it is not a sovereign state;it is a renegade province of China to which the losing side in the Chinese Civil War fled under US protection-the US(and the UK and USSR) having already agreed(at the Cairo Conference) that it should return to Chinese control once the Japanese invaders had been ejected.

  33. David Williams
    May 17, 2019

    Yes. USA is our closest ally.

  34. graham1946
    May 17, 2019

    Why would we even consider it? It seems the old Tory policy of doing everything on the cheap regardless. Everything they do is based this way and ends up an expensive way of saving money. Latest such is the failure of Grayling’s Probation service, designed to save pennies and costing 500 million to get out of. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

    By the way, I wouldn’t mind any kind of ‘G’ – we have no mobile signal in our village at all and have to travel 4 miles to use a mobile phone. Third world doesn’t even cover it, and no, I don’t live in the Highlands of Scotland, but 50 miles from the capital.

  35. BillM
    May 17, 2019

    The USA is not alone. The other partners in the Five Eyes Intelligence Network also have serious doubts over the intentions of Huawei. Until the Chinese prove they are beyond reproach and allow the reciprocation of supply without ignoring IP rights, the whole of the West should remain guarded and refuse any such access to them.
    It sounds absolutely ludicrous that this country should allow Red China to become involved in our Nuclear Power generation and now become involved in our New Communications networks. What is the matter with this dumb lot we have as OUR Government?
    Because Huawei are cheap, does not make them a viable supplier. Quite the opposite as they will be buying access to our own networks and nuclear power stations very cheaply indeed. A sinister development.

  36. Chris
    May 17, 2019

    In answer to your question, yes, they certainly should. China represents the greatest threat to cyber security, and the inroads they have already made into USA under the last administration are coming to light. Hence the Democrats trying to divert attention to Russia! Russia! Russia! In the coming months much is going to be revealed about what went on prior to P Trump with regard to China, and apparent access to US military and other secrets, and it is going to cause shockwaves.

  37. Roy Grainger
    May 17, 2019

    The risk in using Huawei is probably not in a direct security risk but rather that the USA will stop cooperating with us in the security field. The benefit of using Huawei is ….. well what exactly ?

  38. mancunius
    May 17, 2019

    “treating the Chinese state as a potential threat.”
    Which it undoubtedly is.
    I see no media analysis of Chinese strategic aims in its belt-and-road project, which looks very much like what would be called expansionist colonialism, if it were a western idea.

  39. Alex
    May 17, 2019

    The bigger danger is disruption.
    5G will be the foundation for the digitization of the electricity grid.
    The end state is that whoever controls 5G will end up being able to turn the lights out / transport system off.
    Even if there isn’t a back door now, if you manage these systems you always have the means to deploy a back door via upgrades as you see fit.

  40. Ian
    May 17, 2019

    Trump is right,
    Even our own BT throughout this Chinese company 10 years ago !

    We now only have the likes of Vince Cable look a likes and the can not mention the name but PM will do, the House is full of feeble minded Socialists and Lib Dem’s.

    Trump is a Leader and he is looking after his Nation, the guy is full of business experience, just like Ronny Reagan, tons of common sence aswell, these two men have been the Best Presidents over the last many decades, of coarse with Ronny , we had our equal

    The simply out standing Mrs Thatcher, they complimented each other.

    Oh that we should be so badly fitted with the current mess, my sincerest wish is for Farage
    To galvanise ever more popularity, as more and more of us beg to be free of this mess that is now the representation of no less that The Mother of all Parliaments

  41. The Prangwizard
    May 17, 2019

    Yes, Huawei should not be allowed into the 5g development. President Trump is quite correct and is also getting on with swamp clearance. We shall see increasingly the results.

    Roll on something similar here. In the meantime I suspect the US is already witholding sensitive intelligence because they don’t trust our government; quite right too.

    1. Steve
      May 17, 2019


      “Roll on something similar here. In the meantime I suspect the US is already witholding sensitive intelligence because they don’t trust our government; quite right too.”

      Fully agree with that. In fact I suspect May’s government might have a sneaky agenda to spoil UK / US relations, after all the EU and in particular the French have always been jealous of the special relationship. Gratitude for you eh ?

      1. margaret howard
        May 17, 2019


        EU countries jealous of the ‘special relationship’? Amused or bemused might be a better description.

        They are fully aware how one sided it usually is. The US say ‘jump’ and we say ‘how high’?

        Remember Suez, Grenada, Iraq – all events when the US either didn’t give us any support or even invaded a Commonwealth country despite Thatcher’s supposed ‘extra, extra, extra’ special relationship with president ‘Ronnie’.

        The EU wisely find it best to keep a safe distance from an unstable US with an even more nstable president.

        PS Didn’t Trump proclaim his ‘special relationship’ with North Korea recently?

  42. Steve P
    May 17, 2019

    There is no back door. It is a requirement of all companies around the world to remove default settings and configurations from any network component – as mandated by the Payment Card Industry and other bodies. It is also a requirement that components are locked down from unauthorised use – password protected plus configured only to accept incoming/outgoing to specific other components. Everything must be behind a firewall. It is not possible after all this plus monitoring the network for anything unauthorised to happen unless you have been sloppy. My challenge to the US would be – prove it not just talk about it. US has been proven to snoop – I would not trust its equipment.

    At the end of the day you control what leaves through your internet connection – not anyone else.

    This is just sour grapes from the US who always claim foul play whenever anyone develops something better than they can. Remember Concorde.

    1. Steve
      May 17, 2019

      Steve P

      Passwords are no hinderance whatsoever to state intelligence agencies.

      Likewise, they do not take any notice of anything the Payments Industry says. They answer to their heads of state, not PayPal, Visa etc. In Fact – the Payment Industry, and the banks are obliged to facilitate covert investigative access by state security, and even by the police under certain circumstances.

    2. ukretired123
      May 17, 2019

      There is no such thing as 100% Security especially humans are involved – the weakest link. Ask Bill Gates or Assange…. The higher the prize the more attractive it becomes to crack it, just like Everest.

    3. anon
      May 18, 2019

      So if you design and build the hardware.You are unable to hack it?
      Can hacking only be done by outsiders?

      1. anon
        May 18, 2019

        Note. The EU stance on Gallileo. I don’t trust the EU so fair play.

        May and or the EU are just using spoiling tactics as usual.

  43. Nick
    May 17, 2019

    Why not just use BRITISH equipment?

    Oh yes, because we don’t make it. And so the question is: ‘why not set up a company to make it?’

    Set up a rival to Huawei, make the equipment, then privatise it and make a tidy profit.

    But unfortunately the Tories are obsessed with the refusal to do anything that smacks of business or manufacturing. What a pity, as on most other issues I do support you. But your refusal to understand that sometimes the government MUST direct investment is your biggest failing.

    We used to do it in the past, when we were a great country with a global empire. Indeed, that’s the reason we WERE a great country! But now the Tories have become timid little mice. So sad.

  44. BR
    May 17, 2019

    Yes they should adopt the same approach. We do not want to lose the data sharing arrangements.

    More importantly, the concept of ‘dumb’ components seems to be misunderstood (not unusual given the capabilities of modern day MPs and their advisers). Component design changes all the time; many antennae now have built-in electronics capabilities which could be doing… anything they want them to do.

    What is dumb today may be smart tomorrow – or at least ‘smarter’. It may even have components that it’s not supposed to have.

    The bottom line is that if there are concerns over the company then the individual pieces of technology is not the real issue. And there are – Huawei has a high degree of Chinese State involvement and they have a duty in Chinese law to facilitate the government’s aims.

    They are an authoritarian government which is pursuing power-related interests on the global stage. China is not an open society. Any one of these would be reason enough to keep them out of anything to do with our security. Taken together, it’s in the ‘no brainer’ category.

  45. DaveM
    May 17, 2019

    Simply put – using Huawei: is it worth the risk?

    I don’t think May has even the vaguest idea about the importance of the US as security allies. All other allies put together pale into insignificance in comparison.

    Hopefully her successor will listen to people with decades of knowledge and experience.

    Has she actually achieved anything at all which hasn’t been a complete **** up? She hasn’t even managed to do whatever it was she promised her masters in the EU, and that’s her main goal in life it seems.

  46. Fed up with the bull
    May 17, 2019

    Off Topic. I see that Heseltine is already telling porkies about the Brexit negotiations. As Mrs May is leaving we can expect a contest to replace her and apparently Boris is favourite. Heseltine asked on the news what Boris could achieve after May had appointed 3 Brexiteers and they cocked it up. No, they were shafted just like we all were and their ideas never got a look in. Please don’t tell me we have to listen to more lies. If it carries on like this then there really isn’t any way back for your party John. Talk about snakes in the grass.

  47. Adam
    May 17, 2019

    It’s probably better to be cautious to prevent risk rather than assume or hope calamity would not happen on the basis of unknowns.

  48. Fed up with the bull
    May 17, 2019

    Yet another really bad decision from May. The sooner she goes the better. What could be more important than democracy and our security. She’s cocked up both.

  49. Alex
    May 17, 2019

    The establishment has succeeded in diverting attention from the question of whether we actually want 5G with it’s attendant privacy and health issues to yet another exhibition of paranoia. Ask yourselves is it the Chinese government that has impoverished britain by almost continuous sell outs over the last 100 years? Is it the Chinese that seek to undermine democracy in Britain? Is there any reason for any sane person to think that we are likely to be at war with China? On the other hand are there nice big “consultancies” on offer to get 5G going without proper scrutiny of the issues I mentioned? Also how could China having inside information of British policies be worse than the effects of the ridiculous UK governments own incompetence? Our real enemies are in Westminster and Whitehall not China.

  50. Steve
    May 17, 2019

    “Should America’s allies adopt the same posture as Mr Trump wishes? ”

    Well yes we should.

    A significant amount of cyber attacks against our country originate from China. So what does Theresa May do ?…….opens the back door for them. Lunacy, total lunacy.

  51. Narrow Shoulders
    May 17, 2019

    Why haven’t we given a British firm a research grant to lead the way in 5G technology?

    Is it against EU rules?

    1. The Prangwizard
      May 17, 2019

      If this were to happen there is no doubt that as soon as it had a worthwhile product the business would be offered for sale, preferably to foreign interests.

      The US is correctly worried about the Chinese stealing intellectual property, our government offers our expertise for sale. Anything and everything is for sale.

      Lots of talk about our sovereignty but it doesn’t extend to protecting business or brands. Hypocrisy rules.

  52. Andy
    May 17, 2019

    If you are on the same side as Trump you are on the wrong side.

  53. ukretired123
    May 17, 2019

    Back in 2007 the EU Elites in government banned use of BlackBerry devices because the mailservers were USA and UK based :

    5G all pervading ubiquitous wall to wall earth to sky high satellite, you are enveloped totally and no one knows what unintended consequences lie in store.
    Whilst health studies are inconclusive for existing RF pollution 5G is pushing the limits of the human natural environment.
    Stealth on steroids is possible especially when both the hardware and software are provided by a foreign country embedded into our infrastructure. Secret code can be written and lay undetected even by a disgruntled foreign employee unknown to the employer as happened to Microsoft and other large companies.
    Computers are now immensely powerful and complicated and utilised by both good and bad agents 24/7 around the world.
    I was surprised Germany ignored Trump to employ Huawei 5G, given the French paranoia with blacklisting BlackBerry years ago. Once they have the foot in the door ….

  54. VotedOut
    May 17, 2019

    The only people who can remove the current PM are the current MP’s who have proved themselves to be so useless that they cannot do it. So why would they do the right thing on 5G?

    They suffer as do the Labour MP’s, from institutionalisation through a party apparatus designed to manufacture candidates that are hollowed out automatons focused only on enrichment through backhand deals to cash in once out of Westminster. The removal of the EU lifeboat is alarming to them.

    As a voter, over the years I have spoken to Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat MP’s and I have been appalled at the barely concealed contempt they have all had for ordinary people. The very worst are Labour MP’s because they practice pseudo empathy for their core voters in the most chummy way, all the time convinced of their intellectual superiority. The electorate may not have a broad vocabulary to express their thoughts, but that doesn’t mean they are thick. They know that politicians who talk of concern for jobs in their constituencies have not, do not and never will. Their promises and passion is like the morning mist, gone and forgotten by lunchtime.

    Brexit has exposed this very damaging mindset of the political and media class that has been rotting away at our institutions for decades. The fixed term Parliament act was the icing on the cake. Justified as it was by paper thin arguments of the national interest – more like “their” interest. A complete abuse by abandoning a constitutional compromise that provided a means of removing the zombie government we have – one like The Rump. Both parties only interested in self enrichment and paralysed when faced with it ending.

    1. Fred H
      May 18, 2019

      VotedOut…. You make a very good case for the level of cynicism you have. Sadly rather a lot of the contributors here have formed similar opinions over years of watching politics. Often the key players are quite good at concealing the slight of hand in their dealings, trained as they are. However, recent events so clearly witnessed by the world, will not allow some of the players to ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ without implying death, but significantly into obscurity (one hopes).

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