China slams ‘immoral’ spying claims

Written by Hannah McGrath
18/03/2019

China’s top diplomat has lashed out at efforts to discredit Chinese technology firms on security grounds.

State councillor Wang Yi, Beijing’s foreign minister, made a veiled reference to attempts led by the US government to boycott use of telecommunications technology produced by firms including Huawei, amid concerns that backdoors could be used for intelligence gathering by the Chinese government.

In comments reported by Reuters news, Wang said: “What we oppose are groundless accusations for political purposes and attempts to bring down a foreign company. We think such practices are abnormal, immoral and have no support.”

His comments followed a meeting with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s foreign policy chief, as Western governments grapple with calls from the US government to exclude Huawei kit from the development of security-sensitive 5G networks.

A number of countries, including the UK government, have opened their own reviews into the implications of involving Huawei and other Chinese firms’ technology in telecommunications networks.

Huawei has vigorously denied the claims and earlier this month launched legal action against the US government over a law introduced by US president Donald Trump barring federal agencies and third party contractors from procuring Huawei’s equipment and technology services.