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George Osborne welcomes Chinese internet giant Huawei …

  • Chancellor welcomes Huawei’s decision to build 125million UK base
  • But the firm has been accused by MPs of jeopardising internet security
  • U.S. Congress recommended that American firms should boycott Huawei
  • Company denies links to Chinese government and military

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George Osborne yesterday welcomed investment in the UK by a controversial Chinese internet giant, despite warnings it could be spying on the West.

Speaking during a visit to China, the Chancellor brushed aside the security concerns over Huawei that have seen its operations limited or banned in the US, Australia and India.

Welcoming plans by the firm to build a 125 million research and development centre in Britain, Mr Osborne said: There are some Western governments that have blocked Huawei from making investments.

Not Britain. Quite the opposite.

Welcome: George Osborne, pictured with Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, today praised the expansion of Chinese tech firms despite cyber-security fears

Welcome: George Osborne, pictured with Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, today praised the expansion of Chinese tech firms despite cyber-security fears

Trip: The Chancellor visited Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen as part of an official tour of China

Trip: The Chancellor visited Huawei’s headquarters in Shenzhen as part of an official tour of China

Earlier this year MPs warned that Huawei could be monitoring British internet users via the infrastructure it provides to BT and O2.

A Commons security committee warned that the Chinese government might be able to intercept covertly or disrupt traffic passing through Huawei-supplied networks .

And last year a US Congressional committee called for American companies not to do business with the firm because it posed a threat to national security.

Huawei, which was founded by a former officer in the People s Liberation Army, has long been accused of close links with the Chinese military and government.

It operates a cyber-security centre in Oxfordshire to check its equipment for security threats but it is staffed by its own employees.

Ties: Huawei has announced that it will invest an additional 125million in Britain

Ties: Huawei has announced that it will invest an additional 125million in Britain

Fears: Huawei has been accused of helping China spy on internet traffic via joint ventures in the West

Fears: Huawei has been accused of helping China spy on internet traffic via joint ventures in the West

MPs have called for GCHQ to take over the centre, which is now being investigated. Last year Major General Jonathan Shaw, a former cyber-security expert at the Ministry of Defence, said that Britain was dealing with the devil in allowing Huawei access to its electronic infrastructure.

A Treasury source insisted the Government was happy with Huawei s operations in the UK, as were other countries such as Germany and Sweden.

The source said the firm met clear and stringent security rules .

During a visit to the firm s headquarters in Shenzhen, Mr Osborne described it as a great hi-tech company .

He praised the huge opportunity presented by the rise of Chinese technology firms, pointing to gaming company Rekoo s decision to open an office in London s Tech City.

Companion: Boris Johnson is also in China; he is pictured looking at the Shanghai skyline today

Companion: Boris Johnson is also in China; he is pictured looking at the Shanghai skyline today

Huawei and Rekoo s investment into the UK is a great testament to Britain s tech industry and I am here to make sure that relationship goes from strength to strength, he said.

Huawei has repeatedly denied engaging in espionage and describes itself as a globally trusted .

Chief executive Ren Zhengfei said the firm was attracted by the open and free-trade economy in the UK, which has some of the best hi-tech professionals in the world .

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is also on a trade mission to China, yesterday said British children should be taught Mandarin in schools.

The Tory, who is studying the language, said it would ensure children grew up with an understanding of the country s importance.

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George Osborne welcomes Chinese internet giant Huawei …

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