Huawei will no longer be able to supply new equipment to UK operators from December 31. Chinese diplomacy has reacted strongly, as various actions show a revival of the Sino-US trade war.
We almost felt the keyboard shake under Liu Xiaoming’s furious tweet. The Chinese ambassador to London diplomatically described the British decision as a “Disappointing mistake,” and he immediately unsheathed the threat. Now it is “doubtful,” writes the diplomat, “whether the UK can provide an open and fair trading environment for foreign companies,” implying that some British companies may soon have surprises in the Chinese market.
In a regime in which countries are classified according to friendship or alleged hostility, this type of conversation is usually followed by action. If the UK considers us hostile, it will pay the price, as the same ambassador said less diplomatically a few days ago.
The same disappointment is being expressed by Huawei, “UK revenue represents just 1% of our global revenue,” says the group’s executive vice president. But “London’s decisions tend to have an impact beyond the realm,” in other words, Huawei screaming that the ban should not be imitated elsewhere.
A broader trade war
Huawei is not the only dispute between Beijing and Washington. This Wednesday morning, the temperature rose in Hong Kong. At the request of Congress, United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday night that ends Hong Kong’s special status.
This had so far facilitated trade and financial exchanges with the former British colony.
At the same time, Donald Trump announced sanctions against the Chinese, that they are playing a role in the recovery of the territory by the central government. Beijing also reacted immediately.
The “crumpled piece of paper” against Winnie the Pooh
It is only fair that Chinese diplomacy does not bring up the “paper tigers” formerly cited by Chairman Mao to refer to the American power as a actually harmless threat.
A few days ago, Beijing described the American act in Hong Kong as a “crumpled piece of paper,” in other words, a symbolic act that could even be counterproductive to American interests.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry speaks of violation of international law and interference and promises sanctions against American institutions and personalities. He reaffirms his determination on Hong Kong, which has become almost a personal matter between American and Chinese leaders.
This Wednesday, Mike Pompeo tweeted a photo of his dog playing with his “favorite toys” including the plush Winnie the Pooh, the Disney character who has been censored in China because he is supposed to look like the Chinese president.