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Beijing lashes out at US for abusing ‘national security’ claims as FCC upholds Huawei blacklisting

Beijing lashes out at US for abusing ‘national security’ claims as FCC upholds Huawei blacklisting
China has accused the US of using security concerns as a pretext to discriminate against Huawei, after the Federal Communications Commission upheld the telecom giant’s designation as a national security threat.

Washington is persecuting business competitors without providing evidence to justify such extreme measures, raising questions about the US’ commitment to “fair competition,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday.

The so-called ‘protecting national security’ claim that the US side has made is inconsistent with facts. Its nature is that the US abuses the concept to crack down on certain Chinese companies.

The remarks followed a decision on Thursday by the FCC to reject Huawei’s request to reconsider the agency’s designation of the Chinese telecom firm as a national security threat.

The designation, which was announced in June, bars US firms from using a $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from Huawei. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai hailed the Commission’s vote, claiming that the tech firm has “well-documented” ties to Chinese military intelligence and the Chinese Communist Party. He further stated that listing Huawei as a national security threat would “have a direct and positive impact on the security and integrity of America’s networks.”

Huawei did not immediately respond to the ruling. The decision comes a month after the agency rejected a similar appeal from Chinese telecom group ZTE. 

Also on Thursday, the FCC moved forward with plans to strip Huawei-made equipment from US networks. The agency said it would use an estimated $1.6 billion set aside by Congress to reimburse carriers for replacing the banned hardware.

Washington has attempted to pressure its allies around the world to cut business ties with Huawei and other Chinese firms, insisting that they pose threats to national security. Beijing has denied any ties to the telecom giant, and has repeatedly accused the US of trying to unfairly exclude Huawei from competing for contracts to develop global 5G networks.  

In November, Huawei’s vice president, Victor Zhang, said in an interview that he hoped Washington would reconsider its hostility towards the company once presumed president-elect Joe Biden takes office. 

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