US-China trade war

Beijing criticises Pompeo for fake Huawei rumours

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2019.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the State Department in Washington, DC, on April 8, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

US govt provoking suspicion in American public and trying to incite opposition, it says

BEIJING • China yesterday denounced United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for fabricating rumours after he said that the chief executive of Huawei Technologies was lying about his company's ties to the Beijing government.

The US placed Huawei on a trade blacklist last week, effectively banning US firms from doing business with the world's largest telecommunications network gear-maker and escalating a trade battle between the world's two biggest economies.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

On Thursday, Mr Pompeo also dismissed Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei's assertions that his company would never share user secrets, and said he believed that more US companies would cut ties with the technology giant.

"That is just false. To say that they (Huawei) don't work with the Chinese government is a false statement," Mr Pompeo told CNBC.

When asked about Mr Pompeo's remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: "Recently, some US politicians have continually fabricated rumours about Huawei but have never produced the clear evidence that countries have requested."

The US has been rallying its allies to persuade them not to use Huawei for their 5G networks, citing security concerns.

Mr Lu said the US government was provoking suspicion in the American public to confuse and instigate opposition. "Domestically in the US, there are more and more doubts about the trade war the US side has provoked with China, the market turmoil caused by the technology war and the blocked industrial cooperation," he said.

 
 
 
 

US politicians continue to "fabricate lies to try to mislead the American people, and now they are trying to incite ideological opposition".

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that US complaints against Huawei might be resolved within the framework of a US-China trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant "very dangerous".

Mr Lu said he did not know what Mr Trump was talking about.

"Frankly, I am actually not sure what the specific meaning of the US leader, the US side, saying this is," he said, adding that if reporters were interested, they should ask the US to clarify.

Mr Lu reiterated that the US should stop using its national power to suppress and smear other countries' companies, adding that China wanted to resolve differences through friendly dialogue and consultation.

Mr Lu said there was "deep sympathy" in China for US farmers who have been hit by the trade war, saying that the two countries, for many years, had "friendly, mutually beneficial cooperation" in agriculture.

"Chinese colleagues also deeply sympathise with the problems encountered today by farmers in the US agriculture and animal husbandry industry," he said.

The official Xinhua news agency said in a commentary yesterday that China has "fully prepared for a protracted trade war".

Chinese President Xi Jinping declared on Monday that China faced a "new Long March" - a reference to the legendary 1934-35 strategic retreat by communist revolutionaries before their victory in 1949.

"All of the Chinese people are ready to embark on a new 'Long March' journey with greater courage and resilience, and will never yield to foreign bullying and assault," Xinhua said.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'Beijing criticises Pompeo for fake Huawei rumours'. Print Edition | Subscribe