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China reacts as U.S. blacklists Huawei

Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

China has strongly opposed other countries imposing unilateral sanctions on its entities, in response to the latest U.S. restrictions on telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co.

Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman, Gao Feng said on Thursday that the United States should avoid further impacting Sino-U.S. trade relations.

Reuters reports that the U.S. Commerce Department said on Wednesday that it was adding Huawei Technologies Co and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” in a move that bans the Chinese telecommunications giant from acquiring components and technology from U.S. firms without prior U.S. government approval.

President Donald Trump separately on Wednesday signed an executive order barring U.S. firms from using telecom equipment made by companies deemed to pose a national security risk.

The order did not specifically identify any country or company, but U.S. officials have previously labeled Huawei a “threat” and lobbied allies not to use Huawei network equipment in next-generation 5G networks.

“China has emphasized many times that the concept of national security should not be abused, and that it should not be used as a tool for trade protectionism,” Gao said.

“China will take all the necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese firms.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Trump backed the decision to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”

In response, Huawei, which denies its products pose a security threat, said it was “ready and willing to engage with the U.S. government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security.”

It said restricting Huawei from doing business in the United States would “limit the U.S. to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the U.S. lagging behind in 5G deployment and eventually harming the interests of U.S. companies and consumers.

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