China slams US 'abuse' over new Huawei sanctions

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 20 2020 01:19 AM

BEIJING - China on Tuesday hit out at new US sanctions against telecom giant Huawei, accusing Washington of an "abuse of national power" to block the rise of Chinese companies.

A US Commerce Department statement Monday barred an additional 38 Huawei affiliates from buying American computer chips and other technology.

Tensions were already high between the two powers, and Washington has claimed that Chinese firms are used to spy for Beijing -- an accusation the Chinese government and the companies deny.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Tuesday said there was no evidence that Huawei products contained security loopholes or backdoors.

The sanctions have "completely punctured the last pretense of market principles and fair competition that the US has always touted", he added.

Washington has engaged in "abuse of national power to apply all sorts of restrictions on Huawei and other Chinese enterprises," he said at a regular press briefing.

US officials have argued that Huawei poses a security risk because of its links to the Beijing government, a claim denied by the company.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Huawei and its affiliates "have worked through third parties to harness US technology in a manner that undermines US national security and foreign policy interests".