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The global pandemic has prompted many countries including the UK to re-think its relationship with China. On Tuesday, the Government confirmed it would ban Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from powering the UK’s 5G network amid security concerns – something Beijing has denied. The UK Government has a range of powers at its disposal and Express.co.uk is asking readers whether they should be enforced.
Boris Johnson can use sanctions for a range of purposes including supporting foreign policy and national security objectives, as well as maintaining international peace and security.
The Foreign Office (FCO) has the main responsibility for UK policy on international sanctions with the main measures covering economic, trade and travel restrictions.
The Department for International Trade has the powers to impose trade sanctions on goods being imported and exported out of the UK.
The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation, part of HM Treasury, has the authority to ensure financial rules are being implemented in the UK and sanctions can include the freezing of assets.
Meanwhile, the Home Office and the Department of Transport has the power to ban entry into the UK.
In terms of China, travel restrictions have already been imposed on the country after it was excluded from the 14-day quarantine exemption list.
On Tuesday, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden imposed the toughest sanction on China by announcing UK telecoms networks would not be allowed to buy new Huawei 5G kit from December 31 and all such equipment should be stripped out of mobile networks by 2027.
The decision was made on the advice of national security chiefs who had judged they could no longer mitigate the risks of using Huawei’s equipment in light of new US sanctions.
China’s ambassador to the UK has accused Britain of behaving like a “junior partner” of the US after US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised concerns over the network.
Liu Xiaoming said: “Look at what happened with Huawei. Look at what their Secretary of State is saying after the decision made by the UK Government.
“Everybody understands what the reason is behind the UK decision.
“The UK wants to build a global Britain, to still exert a global influence, you really have to think deeply what kind of role you are going to play.”
The Chinese ambassador warned the decision could have an impact on the future trading relationship between the UK and China.
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He added: “They all regard China as a hostile or potentially hostile country, they don’t trust China so they don’t trust China’s companies.
“We do not want to see that economic relationship has been politicised, but it is the other side which politicised the economic relationship – joined the US to sanction a Chinese company, to treat China as a rival, as a threat, as a hostile country.
“How can you do normal business when the other side treats you as a potentially hostile country?”
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