Friday, 31 May 2019 11:52

China takes a dig at US over claim of evidence for Huawei ban Featured

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang speaking to the media in Beijing on Thursday. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang speaking to the media in Beijing on Thursday. Supplied

Comments by a spokesperson from the US State Department, claiming that the US National Defence Authorisation Act, which included a ban on public procurement of Huawei technologies, was based on evidence, have drawn a sarcastic rejoinder from China.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters during a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday that this was the first time the Americans had mentioned the word "evidence" in relation to anything to do with Huawei.

He was responding to a questioner who also pointed out that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had said American companies complied with US laws when they co-operated with the government, but it was different in China. Pompeo was cited as saying Huawei was an instrument of the Chinese Government and the two were deeply connected.

Kang said in response: "For quite a while, in order to oppress Huawei, the US has been wracking its brains to make up stories in an attempt to convince people from the US and other countries that Huawei poses a security risk.

"First it was ideology, and now Huawei's relationship with the Chinese Government. I guess there will be more to come. However, it has been shying away from the one thing everyone truly cares about: evidence."

He could not resist a dig at the US, citing the NSA program PRISM which was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden as being used for blanket surveillance of all Americans.

"A vivid contrast to it is the PRISM incident," Kang said. "The facts are more than clear as to what role the US Government played and whether it differentiated its targets based on ideology.

"There is no shortage of evidence for the international community to define the behaviour of the US."

Huawei has filed a case against the US Government, seeking to lift a ban imposed on its gear being used in the US, and on Wednesday filed a motion seeking summary judgment.

The company has been facing major issues after Google announced on 20 May that it was cutting off the company's access to future updates of Android and the Google Play Store.

A day later, the US Commerce Department eased some of the restrictions, allowing Huawei to maintain and update existing networks and handsets for 90 days.

US President Donald Trump has also put in place a ban on the use of equipment from Huawei and its fellow Chinese firm, ZTE, within the US.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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