London: On Tuesday, visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with a view to bringing Britain closer to the diplomatic tug of war with Washington.
The top US diplomat will also meet with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the ruling conservative party hardliners.
Johnson joked when he sent Pompeo to his office in Downing Street: “Social distance does not mean diplomatic or political distance.”
Pompeo’s last visit to London in January came a few days after Johnson ignored Washington’s warnings and allowed China’s technology giant Huawei to help launch the UK’s 5G network.
This is a cruel thing that led Pompeo to accuse Britain of placing China at the core of its next-generation data system, thereby endangering Western intelligence sharing.
At the time, Johnson sought profitable partners to fill the void left by Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in January, and the relationship between Britain and China was booming.
But in the months that followed, Britain increasingly shared the view that China was a global threat in the administration of US President Donald Trump.
Johnson’s most dramatic policy reversal is that he ordered British mobile operators to stop purchasing 5G equipment from Huawei starting next year and delete existing equipment before 2027.
Pompeo congratulated Johnson on getting the “right end of the stick.”
The response of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to accuse Britain of becoming “a liar to the United States.”
Johnson’s series of measures taken in the past month may end the “Golden Decade” cooperation early, which was promised by former British Finance Minister Osborne when he visited Beijing in 2015.
London has also angered Beijing by providing China’s nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents with a means of British citizenship in response to China’s controversial security law imposed on the former British colony last month.
Britain took follow-up action on Monday, suspending the extradition treaty with Hong Kong and expanding the arms embargo on “potentially lethal weapons” that previously only applied to mainland China.