A Message from the Chief Executive of CBBC: CBBC's reaction to the UK government's decision to block Huawei from Britain's 5G Network

Dear Member,

You will no doubt have followed closely news reports around today’s announcement from the UK Government on the future of Britain’s 5G network.

The China-Britain Business Council is disappointed by the Government’s decision to block Huawei from contributing to the network beyond 2027. This move means that British homes and businesses will not benefit from Huawei’s market-leading and highly competitive products. 

CBBC believes that this decision is first and foremost a response to assertive US trade policy. What seems clear is that the UK intelligence agencies’ assessment of Huawei’s involvement in 5G hasn’t changed since a very different decision was taken six months ago.

Many of you have been in touch to express your concern at the possible impact of today’s decision on business ties between the UK and China. Britain’s open trade and investment relationship with China has served our economy well in recent years, thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of hundreds of British companies. I hope that the UK Government will reassure those businesses that it intends to continue to engage with China in good faith.

CBBC will remain a steadfast advocate of the UK’s economic ties with China. As an example of our work in this area, we are sharing with you a CBBC-commissioned report published today by the respected global consultancy Cambridge Econometrics. The report shows that our trade and investment ties with China - now our third-largest export market - support an estimated 124,000 to 149,000 jobs in Britain.

The bulk of those jobs are associated with our hitherto booming export trade. The rapid growth in the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK is also helping to underpin thousands of jobs, particularly in the services sector. Recent figures show more than 1 million Chinese tourists visited the UK last year, up five-fold from a decade ago. And the 120,000 Chinese students who now study in the UK spent an estimated £1.9 billion in the 2018-19 academic year, supporting over 17,600 jobs.
Read the Report HERE

Equally the UK has many strengths from which China should continue to benefit: our unique capability in R&D, education, the creative industries, financial services and other services.  This relationship is a two way street.

In any relationship there are tensions and differences of view. At CBBC we advocate a clear-eyed approach to engagement which acknowledges differences in our national systems and values while seeking to build mutual respect and understanding.  We make no apology for our belief that promoting trade and investment flows in open markets is essential to achieve this difficult balance.  

We call on both the UK and Chinese Governments to take evidence-based decisions in the interests of our shared prosperity. We commend this report from Cambridge Econometrics as a valuable contribution to the evidence base.

Please speak to your China Market Business Advisor or (in China) your nearest CBBC Representative Office if would like to discuss any comments or concerns.

Yours faithfully,

Matthew Rous