BEIJING – China has accused the United States of engaging in “pure economic terrorism” against its trading partners at a time when the US is trying to stifle Chinese technology giants in US markets under a dubious pretext.
“This deliberate kind of provoking trade disputes is pure economic terrorism, economic chauvinism, economic intimidation,” China’s deputy foreign minister Zhang Hanhui said on Thursday, as he outlined President Xi Jinping’s trip to Russia next week.
The United States intensified its trade war with China earlier this month as it raised Chinese export tariffs of $200 billion after months of talks in hopes of preventing an economic war between the two countries. China reacted by announcing tariffs of more than 5,000 US products worth $60 billion.
Despite threatening to raise import tariffs on another $325 billion worth of Chinese products, Washington also comes after Chinese telecoms giants, particularly Huawei, leaders in 5G cellular network technology.
First, the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed in August 2018, prohibited the government from buying Huawei or ZTE equipment. Then, on May 15, President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting access by “foreign opponents” to the American information and communication technology sectors.
On the same day, the US Department of Commerce added Huawei and 70 of its affiliates to the blacklist of trade. As a result, Google has suspended Huawei from using its Android operating system. The change was followed by Intel, Qualcomm and Xilinx, which have stopped providing components for the Chinese company.
China, which wants the US to treat it as a partner of the same stature, repeatedly criticized US protectionist trade policies and complained to the World Trade Organization. Huawei, for its part, remains convinced that Washington’s actions against the company are “illegal” and are taking the federal government to a US court.
“There are no winners in a trade war. There are no winners,” Zhang reiterated. “We oppose a trade war, but we are not afraid of a trade war.”