China throws weight behind Huawei as telecoms giant sues US government
Mobile giant Huawei has gained the backing of the Chinese government in its bid to sue the US, in a move which threatens to deepen the countries' ongoing diplomatic rift.
China’s top diplomat, state councillor Wang Yi, said on Friday that China supports Huawei Technologies’ bid for legal redress in the United States, adding that Chinese companies should use “legal weapons” and not be “silent lambs”.
Huawei sued the US government on Thursday, saying a law introduced in August which limits its US business is unconstitutional.
The embattled telecoms maker filed a complaint in a federal court in Texas against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), part of which prevents federal agencies and their contractors from procuring equipment and services from the Chinese firm.
The lawsuit marks the latest escalation between China and the US, as negotiations to end the two nations’ trade war continue, and after last year’s arrest of the phone maker’s chief financial officer in Canada at the request of Donald Trump's government.
Speaking at a press conference on the sidelines of China’s annual parliamentary meeting, Wang said recent actions aimed at certain people and companies were “deliberate political suppression” and that the Chinese government would take “all necessary measures” to safeguards their interests.
“At the same time, we support relevant companies and individuals to take up legal weapons to safeguard their rights and interests, and not be silent lambs,” Wang said.
“What we must protect today is not only a company’s rights and interests, but the legitimate development interests of a country and its people,” he said.
hardware maker and wants to position itself at the forefront of a global roll out of 5G mobile networks and services.
Huawei said its “equipment and services are subject to advanced security procedures, and no backdoors, implants, or other intentional security vulnerabilities have been documented in any of the more than 170 countries in the world where Huawei equipment and services are used.”
The US government has accused Huawei of spying on behalf of the Chinese government, encouraging allies to follow its move of blocking the firm from providing equipment for the new 5G network.
New Zealand and Australia, who are members of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing operation alongside the US, both handed a 5G network ban to the company last year.
In February, the heads of six intelligences agencies in the US, including the CIA, FBI and NSA, told the Senate Intelligence Committee that they were “deeply concerned” about Huawei and warned users against buying its products.