On day two of President Donald Trump’s visit to the UK the president met with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Their talks included trade as well as concerns about China’s involvement in the UK’s 5G internet network.
The president and prime minister first met with corporate executives from the United States and United Kingdom Tuesday morning.
The meeting with business leaders took place at St. James’s Palace and brought together nearly a dozen major companies from the UK and the United States.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump were then welcomed at Number 10 Downing Street by May and her husband Philip May where they posed for photos.
Later, inside No. 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister showed the president and first lady a copy of the American Declaration of Independence, which was on display inside a glass case. They would later speak on Britain’s independence from the European Union and particularly how it could affect a possible bilateral trade deal, which could take effect once the UK leaves the European Union.
However, relations with China were high on President Trump’s agenda during his meetings on Tuesday with the prime minister regarding concerns over Britain’s decision to allow Chinese telecom firm Huawei to work on the UK’s new 5G wireless communications network.
British officials are considering whether to allow Huawei’s involvement in Britain’s 5G wireless communications network while the United States has been lobbying allies to exclude Huawei from all 5G networks over fears it could let the Chinese government gain access to data or conduct espionage.
This leaves only Britain and Canada as the remaining members of the Five Eyes countries that have not banned Huawei from their 5G networks. The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand make up the Five Eyes alliance, which shares intelligence among the countries to combat espionage, terrorism, and global crime.
The UK has expressed uncertainty about Huawei, but UK Security Minister Ben Wallace said the government hasn’t made a final decision, saying that Huawei should be given a chance because the British “believe in fair play.” However, security concerns remain.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague stated that Washington wants the UK to join the United States, Australia, and New Zealand in adopting a more comprehensive ban. If the UK cooperates, this would leave Canada as the lone security risk among the Five Eyes nations.