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Chinese telecom giants hit back at US allegations

By TAN YINGZI and CHEN LIMIN (China Daily)

08:00, October 09, 2012

Two telecom giants rejected as "baseless" the findings of a US congressional investigation that accused them of posing a national security risk.

The allegations indicated growing commercial disputes between China and the United States, especially in the high-tech sector, trade experts said.

Huawei Technologies Co, the world's second-largest telecom equipment manufacturer in terms of revenue, described the US congressional report as containing "dangerous political distractions” from normal business practice.

"Baseless suggestions purporting that Huawei is somehow uniquely vulnerable to cyber mischief ignore technical and commercial realities, recklessly threaten American jobs and innovation, do nothing to protect national security, and should be exposed as dangerous political distractions from legitimate public-private initiatives to address what are global and industry-wide cyber challenges,” Bill Plummer, Huawei's US vice-president of external relations, said in an e-mail to China Daily.

The US House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee said that Huawei and ZTE Corp, the world's fifth-biggest telecom gear maker, should be excluded from the US market because they pose a security threat.

ZTE urged the committee to extend equal treatment to all telecom equipment makers because "most or all US telecom equipment is made in China, including that provided by Western vendors”, it said in an e-mail to China Daily.

China hopes the US will "respect reality, discard biases and improve economic relations between China and the US, not vice versa”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said on Monday.

The report, which came amid rising trade disputes between the two countries, surprised experts.

"The report is not just about economic issues, but goes further with guesswork about alleged conspiracy," said Huo Jianguo, director of the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation Institution. "It has obvious political intentions because displaying a tough attitude to Chinese companies may help win more votes with a presidential election campaign going on,” he said.

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