US, UK leaders talk telecoms security ahead of 5G decision

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Donald Trump have discussed the security of telecommunications networks as the UK prepares to decide whether to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build aspects of its new high-speed mobile network

LONDON -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Donald Turmp have discussed the security of telecommunications networks as the U.K. prepares to decide whether to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build aspects of its new high-speed mobile network.

The United States is pushing Britain and other allies to ban Huawei from making parts of its 5G network. The American administration claims it would be a security risk — something Huawei vehemently denies.

Cooperation to ensure the security of telecommunications networks was discussed in a phone call between the two leaders on Friday, the British government said in a statement amid reports that U.K. officials have backed the firm to play a role.

Britain's National Security Council is widely expected to make its decision next week.

Huawei is the world’s biggest maker of switching gear for phone and internet companies. But it has faced rising scrutiny over U.S. allegations that it could be forced by the Chinese government to provide access to consumer data on its networks.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.K. Treasury chief Sajid Javid are expected to discuss the matter this weekend. Mnuchin is stopping in the U.K. following four-day World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland.