China criticizes US action against Huawei

AP

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  • Shoppers browse smartphones at a Huawei retail store in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (Chinatopix via AP)

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    A worker uses an electric cart to haul a load of ride-sharing bicycles along a street in Beijing, Thursday, May 16, 2019. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

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    In this Wednesday, May 15, 2019, photo, a worker moves aluminum pipes in a factory in Zouping in eastern China's Shandong province. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (Chinatopix via AP)

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    A man uses his mobile phone in front of a billboard at a construction site in Beijing, Thursday, May 16, 2019. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

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    A delivery man naps with his trolley in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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    A man presses on the glass window near a logo for Huawei in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

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    A woman walks past advertisement for Huawei smartphones in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

  • Shoppers browse smartphones at a Huawei retail store in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province, Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (Chinatopix via AP)

  • 1

    A worker uses an electric cart to haul a load of ride-sharing bicycles along a street in Beijing, Thursday, May 16, 2019. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

  • 2

    In this Wednesday, May 15, 2019, photo, a worker moves aluminum pipes in a factory in Zouping in eastern China's Shandong province. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (Chinatopix via AP)

  • 3

    A man uses his mobile phone in front of a billboard at a construction site in Beijing, Thursday, May 16, 2019. Figures released on Wednesday showed China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

  • 4

    A delivery man naps with his trolley in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. China's factory output and consumer spending weakened in April as a tariff war with Washington intensified, adding to pressure on Beijing to shore up shaky economic growth. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

  • 5

    A man presses on the glass window near a logo for Huawei in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

  • 6

    A woman walks past advertisement for Huawei smartphones in Beijing on Thursday, May 16, 2019. In a fateful swipe at telecommunications giant Huawei, the Trump administration issued an executive order Wednesday apparently aimed at banning its equipment from U.S. networks and said it was subjecting the Chinese company to strict export controls. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING (AP) China vowed Thursday to "resolutely safeguard" Chinese companies after Washington labeled telecom equipment giant Huawei a security risk and imposed export curbs on U.S. technology sales to the company.

A foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, criticized the moves as an "abuse of export control measures" after the Trump administration issued an order requiring Huawei to obtain government permission for purchases.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest global maker of switching equipment for phone companies, has spent a decade fighting accusations it facilitates Chinese spying.

"We urge the United States to stop the wrong approach," said a foreign ministry spokesman, Lu Kang. "China will take further necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises."

Lu gave no details, but analysts warned the export controls threaten to worsen a U.S.-Chinese conflict over technology and trade.

The restriction is "a grave escalation with China that at minimum plunges the prospect of continued trade negotiations into doubt," said Eurasia Group analysts in a report.

"Unless handled carefully, this situation is likely to place U.S. and Chinese companies at new risk," the report said.

President Donald Trump also issued an executive order Wednesday that bans phone carriers from using technology of "foreign adversaries" deemed to pose "unacceptable risks" to national security.

While it doesn't name specific countries or companies, it follows months of U.S. pressure on Huawei. It gives the Commerce Department 150 days to come up with regulations.

A Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng, gave a similar warning about "necessary measures" at a separate news conference but also gave no details of possible official steps.

Chinese retaliation against U.S. tariff hikes has included targeting American companies in China by slowing down customs clearance and issuance of business licenses.

Trump's order addresses U.S. government concerns that equipment from Chinese suppliers could pose an espionage threat to U.S. internet and telecommunications infrastructure.

Huawei said blocking it from doing business in the United States would hamper introduction of next-generation communications technology in which the company is a world leader.

"We are ready and willing to engage with the U.S. government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security," the company said in a statement.

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Associated Press researcher Liu Zheng contributed.

     

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