China criticizes US opposition to Chinese 5G telecom tech

Business

FILE – In this July 30, 2019, file photo a woman walks by a Huawei retail store in Beijing. The U.S. government gave chipmakers and technology companies a 90-day extension to sell products to technology giant Huawei. China has criticized Washington’s opposition to Chinese-made next-generation telecoms technology after Vice President Mike Pence called on Iceland and other governments to find alternatives. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

BEIJING (AP) — China on Friday criticized Washington’s opposition to Chinese-made next-generation telecoms technology after Vice President Mike Pence called on Iceland and other governments to find alternatives.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, accused American leaders of “abusing the concept of national security” to block Chinese commercial activity.

China’s Huawei Technologies Ltd. is a leader in next-generation, or 5G, technology. Washington says Huawei is a security risk, an accusation the company denies.

Huawei, the country’s first global tech brand, is at the center of U.S.-Chinese tension over economic and technological competition. The company accused U.S. authorities this week of launching cyberattacks to break into its computer systems and of trying to coerce Huawei employees to supply information about it.

Washington wants to “work with Iceland and other freedom-loving nations to find alternatives to essentially China’s state-based 5G operation,” Pence said in a meeting this week with Iceland’s prime minister, Katrin Jakobsdottir.

Geng complained that American leaders made “irresponsible remarks” about “normal business cooperation” involving Chinese companies.

“This is a typical hegemonism and the politicization of economic and trade issues,” Geng said at a regular news briefing. “China is firmly opposed to this.”

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