China is 'not a hostile state' says ambassador as he admonishes UK over Huawei decision

Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to the UK. Credit: PA

China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has warned against viewing the nation as a hostile state.

The diplomat was speaking a day after it was confirmed the UK will remove all of Huawei's infrastructure in the country's 5G network.

In a speech on China-Europe relations, he said: “Those who see China as a systematic rival or a potentially hostile state have got it all wrong.

“They’ve chosen the wrong target and they are heading in the wrong direction.”

China’s ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming has said trust between the two nations has been “seriously damaged” by the ban on Huawei in Britain’s 5G network.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mr Liu said: “I think it firstly undermines the trust between the two countries.

“It’s not only disappointing, it’s disheartening.”

He praised the “good company” for having invested £2 billion in the UK, creating 28,000 jobs and having contributed “greatly” to the telecoms industry.

But he said the UK had acted to “simply dump” Huawei.

“It’s very disheartening.

"FxiaoThe way you treat Huawei will be followed very closely by other Chinese businesses,” he said.

“I think the trust is seriously damaged between the government-level and among the businesses.”

Huawei's technology will not be used in the UK's 5G network. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Mr Liu said the treatment of Huawei was an indication of wider problems in the West’s relationship with China.

The country also has issues with the US at the moment, with Donald Trump announcing that his intervention convinced the UK to dump Huawei.

He suggested the UK government’s decision to strip the firm out of its 5G infrastructure was because it “had to succumb to pressure” from the “China hawks and China-bashers”.

“They all regard China as a hostile or potentially hostile country, they don’t trust China so they don’t trust China’s companies.”

Mr Liu said “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 potential hostile country?”