Thursday 8 August 2019 9:42 am

MPs to probe UK-China trade following Huawei saga

A group of MPs is to scrutinise the UK’s trading relationship with China, in the wake of the Huawei debacle. 

The International Trade Committee has launched an inquiry looking at the “opportunities, challenges and risks” in trading with China both now and any that may emerge in the future.  

Read more: Huawei shrugs off US blacklisting with strong first half growth

Chaired by SNP MP Angus Brendan MacNeil, the committee said that while the government had grown increasingly keen on trade with the world’s second largest economy, there were concerns over the country’s attitude towards environmental and human rights, as well as security issues.  

“The debate over Huawei’s investment in the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is one obvious example of this,” said McNeil. 

“My Committee will seek to establish how the UK should approach its trade and investment relationship with China, what support is currently available to companies looking to export and invest in the country, and what opportunities and risks are likely to emerge in the future.”

Read more: Huawei will not pass information to Beijing, says Chinese ambassador

The UK government is currently reviewing whether to hand its lucrative 5G contract to Chinese tech giant Huawei, following concerns over a threat to national security. A report published last month urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson must make the matter top priority of risk “damaging the UK’s international relations”.

The US has previously urged its allies to block Huawei from national infrastructure, arguing the company’s links to Beijing mean it could be used as a vehicle for state-sponsored spying. Huawei has always denied the allegations.

Main image credit: Getty