China hits back at U.S. telecom supply chain order at WTO



Stephanie Nebehay|Reuters

 China accused the United States on Thursday of undermining the global tech industry’s supply chains with a renewed executive order barring U.S. companies from using telecoms equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk.

Jiankai Jin, a diplomat at China’s mission to the World Trade Organization, denounced the U.S. move during closed door multilateral talks at the body’s headquarters in Geneva.

“We would also like to know how the U.S. will ensure measures taken under this Executive Order will not abuse the WTO national security exception and be consistent with WTO rules,” Jin said, according to a transcript reviewed by Reuters.

He did not indicate whether China would launch a formal dispute.

The U.S. delegation said Thursday’s meeting of the WTO’s Goods Council was not the appropriate forum to discuss national security issues, a Geneva-based trade official said.

Washington is also trying to convince allies to exclude Huawei from phone networks on grounds its equipment could be used by China for spying, which Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, has repeatedly denied.

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