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30 May, 2019 03:14

‘Naked economic terrorism’: China rails against trade war provocateurs & bullies

‘Naked economic terrorism’: China rails against trade war provocateurs & bullies

Beijing has accused Washington of engaging in “naked economic terrorism” against its trade partners at a time when the US has been trying to choke out Chinese tech giants from American markets under dubious pretext.

“This kind of deliberately provoking trade disputes is naked economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic bullying,” China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said on Thursday, while outlining President Xi Jinping's trip to Russia next week.

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The US escalated its trade war with China earlier this month by hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese exports after months-long negotiations in the hope of averting a full-blown economic war between the two countries failed to produce a breakthrough. China hit back, announcing tit-for-tat tariffs on more than 5,000 American products worth some $60 billion.

While threatening to increase import tariffs on another $325 billion in Chinese goods, Washington has also been going after Chinese telecommunication giants, particularly Huawei, the leaders in 5G cellular network technology.

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First, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed in August 2018, banned the government from purchasing Huawei or ZTE equipment. Then, on May 15, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order restricting access of “foreign adversaries” to American information and communications technology sectors. The same day, the Department of Commerce added Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to the trade blacklist. As a consequence, Google suspended Huawei from using its Android operating system. The move was followed by Intel, Qualcomm, and Xilinx, which stopped supplying components to the Chinese firm.

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China, which wants the US to treat it as an equal partner, has repeatedly slammed American protectionist trade policies and has complained to the World Trade Organization. Huawei, for its part, remains adamant that Washington’s actions against the company are "illegal," and is taking the federal government to a US court.

“There are no winners in a trade war. No winners,” Zhang reiterated. “We oppose a trade war but are not afraid of a trade war.”

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