China slams US ‘lies’ about Huawei-government ties

Photo from YouTube screengrab.

Beijing on Friday accused the United States of spreading “lies” about Huawei after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the telecom giant was not being truthful about its ties to the Chinese government.

Huawei has been thrust at the centre of escalating tensions between the world’s two top economies, with President Donald Trump saying Thursday the fate of the company could be included in any deal to resolve their trade war.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he was not aware of the “specifics” of Trump’s comments and repeated that dialogue must be based on “mutual respect”.

The Trump administration has infuriated Beijing by blacklisting the smartphone and telecommunications company over worries that China uses it as a tool for espionage and allegations of breaking Iran related sanctions.

Huawei has repeatedly denied that it works with the Communist-led government.

“To say that they don’t work with the Chinese government is a false statement,” Pompeo told CNBC.

Lu said US politicians have spread rumours about Huawei without providing evidence.

“These American politicians continue to fabricate various subjective, presumptive lies in an attempt to mislead the American people, and now they are trying to incite ideological opposition,” he said at a regular press briefing.

The heated rhetoric comes as trade negotiations have stalled, with neither side announcing a new date to resume talks after they exchanged increases in tariffs earlier this month.

But Trump said Thursday there was a “good” possibility that the two sides will strike a bargain.

“If we made a deal, I can imagine Huawei being included in some form or some part of a trade deal,” he said, linking the company to the wider trade dispute.

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/AFP