"The punishment will come": China will take revenge after Huawei ban says expert

14 July 2020, 20:51

Chinese government will retaliate after Huawei ban says China expert

By Seán Hickey

An expert in Chinese politics warned that it is not a question if China will retaliate for the UK's ban on Huawei in our 5G infrastructure, but when.

Professor Steve Tsang is the Director of the SOAS China Institute and was speaking to Iain Dale amid the unfolding situation around the UK's ban on Huawei.

Mr Tsang has been outspoken in the past on China's heavy handed foreign policies and feared that the UK could face a sticky relationship with the state in months to come.

Mr Tsang pointed out that China "has not got a record in treating the UK government well" throughout the history of the state and with threats coming from the Chinese ambassador over the Huawei decision, it is "putting undue pressure on us as a country."

Iain pointed out that the Communist state has a reputation for exacting "revenge on countries that don't do their bidding" with Canada and Australia being victims in recent times. He wondered, having seen what has happened to other countries, "what the consequences for Britain might be on this."

The government banned Huawei from the UK's 5G network today
The government banned Huawei from the UK's 5G network today. Picture: PA

Mr Tsang referenced the comments of the Chinese ambassador condemning outright the government's decision, where he said that the UK will pay dearly for the decision.

"He is speaking on behalf of the Chinese government" the China expert warned. He pointed out the slow phase out of Huawei equipment – with all equipment to be out of the UK by 2027, and told Iain that the "government is trying to minimise the retaliation from the Chinese government" by having a grace period. He did however believe that "the punishment will come" at some point.

Mr Tsang told listeners that the retaliation may not necessarily come through a cyber attack, warning that the "Chinese government has much more imaginative ways" of taking revenge, reminding Iain that they took two Canadians hostage as revenge for Canada extraditing the founder of Huawei's daughter to the US.

Iain didn't seem concerned in the event of a cyber attack, telling Mr Tsang that "that would just prove that the government were right to do this all along."