US Resorts to Trade Protectionism Against Chinese High-Tech Companies - Analyst

© AP Photo / Mark Schiefelbein, FileLogo for Huawei at a launch event for the Huawei MateBook in Beijing
Logo for Huawei at a launch event for the Huawei MateBook in Beijing - Sputnik International
US lawmakers introduced a new law that may bar government agencies from using telecommunication equipment manufactured by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE due to concerns about potential security breaches.

The bill was introduced by two Republican senators, Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio, and is aimed at prohibiting the US government from purchasing or leasing equipment or services from Huawei or ZTE due to the alleged ties between these companies and the Chinese government.

US 100 dollar banknotes and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in this picture illustration in Beijing, China, January 21, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The senators claimed that the equipment supplied by Chinese companies may be used by Beijing to spy on US government agencies and steal their secrets.

Xu Feibiao, analyst at the Center for World Economy Studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, told Sputnik China however that these new prohibitive measures are nothing but trade protectionism.

"The US created various barriers against Huawei on multiple occasions. It’s clear that these actions are motivated by protectionism. Chinese investments are being denied under a pretext of national security concerns, while the US government resorts to trade protectionism in areas deemed important to the Americans," Xu Feibiao said, adding that the US has frequently resorted to such tactics in recent years.

READ MORE: How Chinese Investment is Conquering Europe, Driving the US From the Market

He pointed out that ‘national security’ is a rather vague concept which isn’t clearly defined by WTO norms. The US capitalizes on this fact and often imposes trade barriers citing national security concerns.

"Chinese companies tried to deal with accusations of data theft in court. Such trials however tend to last long and are quite expensive, while the chances of success are low when it comes no national security matters. In fact, the US did not present any evidence that would prove that Chinese government uses private companies to collect intelligence data. It’s just that China recently made breakthroughs in high tech sphere, including IT. The US government is concerned about it and uses national security concerns to shield its most prominent companies from competition," Xu Feibiao explained.

The views expressed in this article by Xu Feibiao are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

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