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

Pompeo questioned the attitude of Prime Minister Theresa May's government toward Beijing and goaded London by saying that the late former British leader Margaret Thatcher, who was known as the Iron Lady, would have taken a much firmer line with China.

He brought a tough message to Britain, which agreed last month to allow China's Huawei Technologies a restricted role in building parts of its 5G network.