China says lodged solemn representations with US over Huawei

China has silenced itself away from the United States over trade war tensions involving the banning of Huawei. (AFP pic)

BEIJING: China said on Thursday it had lodged solemn representations with the United States after it escalated a trade war between the two countries by placing Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei on a blacklist for US suppliers.

No further trade talks between top Chinese and US negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended in a stalemate on May 10, the same day US President Donald Trump sharply increased tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods and took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.

China retaliated with its own levies on US imports, but it was Washington’s subsequent move against Huawei that took the trade war into a new phase, stoking fears about risks to global growth and knocking financial markets.

“Regarding the relevant US measures, China has lodged solemn representations,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a weekly briefing in Beijing. “The best response to the US bullying is that Chinese firms continue to grow stronger.”

The spokesman said the United States needs to correct its wrong actions if it wants to continue negotiations with China, adding that talks should be based on mutual respect.

Gao warned that the escalation by Washington raised the risk of a global economic recession.

The US sanctions are a potentially devastating blow for Huawei.

The move has rattled technology supply chains and investors, and several mobile carriers on Wednesday delayed the launch of new Huawei smartphone handsets.

Gao said Beijing would take steps necessary to safeguard Chinese firms’ interests.

“The Chinese government is confident and able to protect the legal interests of Chinese firms,” Gao said.

The United States has accused Huawei of activities contrary to national security, a charge Huawei denies.

The Trump administration softened its stance slightly this week by granting the firm a licence to buy US goods until Aug 19 to minimise disruption for customers.

Huawei says it can ensure a steady component supply chain without the US help.