Beijing lashed out Wednesday at Britain’s decision to ban Huawei equipment, saying London had become “America’s dupe” and vowing to take measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies.

The British government bowed to growing U.S. pressure and pledged on Tuesday to remove Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network by 2027, despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.

“China will fully and solemnly assess this matter, and will take a series of necessary measures to safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate rights and interests,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a routine briefing.

“Any decisions and actions (by Britain) must come at a cost,” Mr. Hua said, without elaborating.

U.S. officials hailed Britain’s decision, saying it showed a “growing international consensus” that Huawei and other companies allegedly linked to the Chinese state pose a threat to national security.

‘America’s dupe’

Mr. Hua claimed London “(acted) in coordination with the U.S. to discriminate against, suppress and eliminate” Huawei, and accused Britain of becoming “America’s dupe”.

Beijing suggested that Britain might face further repercussions for the move. “This is an issue that threatens the security of Chinese investment in the U.K., and is also a question of whether we can trust the U.K. market to remain open, fair and free from discrimination,” he said.

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