May 9, 2019 / 10:50 AM / 12 days ago

UPDATE 1-UK has concerns about "significant and widespread" Chinese cyber intrusion

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LONDON, May 9 (Reuters) - Britain has a strong relationship with China but has expressed concerns about its "significant and widespread" cyber intrusion, a spokesman for the prime minister said on Thursday, after the United States warned London it should rethink its approach.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Britain it needed to change its attitude towards China and Huawei, casting the world's second largest economy as a threat to the West similar to that once posed by the Soviet Union.

"We have a strong relationship with China in many areas but there are several areas where we have expressed our concerns about China's behaviour and that includes significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and our allies," a spokesman for Theresa May told reporters.

Ahead of an announcement on whether to allow Huawei a role in building the national 5G network, he said if any national security concerns arose, the risks would be assessed by the government.

The spokesman added that the government had been clear it would "not countenance high risk vendors in those parts of the UK's 5G network that perform critical security functions". (Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; writing by Kate Holton; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)

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