Washington’s complaints against Huawei Technologies might be resolved within the framework of a US-China trade deal, President Donald Trump said on Thursday, while calling the Chinese telecoms giant “very dangerous.”
“You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous,” Trump said in remarks at the White House, Reuters reports.
“If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it.”
Washington last week effectively banned US firms from doing business with Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, citing national security concerns.
Trump predicted a swift end to the trade war with China, although no high-level talks have been scheduled between the two countries since the last round of negotiations ended in Washington two weeks ago.
Earlier on Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused the chief executive of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, of lying about his company’s lack of ties to the Beijing government, which he said represented a security risk.
“The company is deeply tied not only to China but to the Chinese Communist Party. And that connectivity, the existence of those connections puts American information that crosses those networks at risk,” Pompeo said.
Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.
Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who is Ren’s daughter, was arrested in Canada in December and faces extradition to the United States on charges she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran. She and the company deny the charges.
Tech companies around the world have fallen in line with US curbs on Huawei. Japan’s Panasonic said it had stopped shipments of some Huawei components, a day after British chip designer ARM did the same, potentially crippling the Chinese firm’s ability to make new chips for smartphones.
Asked if he believed more firms would stop working with Huawei, Pompeo told CNBC in an interview Thursday: “We do. We’ve been working at the State Department to make sure that everyone understands the risks.”
US lawmakers moved on Wednesday to provide about US$700 million in grants to help US telecoms providers with the cost of removing Huawei equipment from their networks, and to block the use of equipment or services from Huawei and fellow Chinese telecoms firm ZTE in next-generation 5G networks.
On Thursday, China’s Commerce Ministry hit back.
“If the United States wants to continue trade talks, they should show sincerity and correct their wrong actions. Negotiations can only continue on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” spokesman Gao Feng told a weekly briefing.
“We will closely monitor relevant developments and prepare necessary responses,” he said, without elaborating.
Trump hiked tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods on May 10 and threatened to slap tariffs of up to 25 percent on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about US$300 billion, prompting China to respond with levies of its own.
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