China sends US chilling warning: Beijing is ready to retaliate against ‘suppression’

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China’s foreign ministry warned the US it must stop the “unreasonable suppression” of Chinese companies like Huawei, while government officials are said to be mounting a list to ready to retaliate against Washington. It comes after Donald Trump’s administration moved to block global chip supplies to its blacklisted company Huawei Technologies, spurring fears of Chinese retaliation and hammering shares of US producers of chipmaking equipment.

When quizzed over whether it would take retaliatory measures against the US, China said it will firmly defend its companies’ legal rights. 

Meanwhile, China’s Global Times newspaper on Saturday quoted a source close to the Chinese government saying that Beijing was ready to take a series of countermeasures against the US.

This includes putting US companies on an “unreliable entity list” and imposing restrictions on American companies such as Apple Inc , Cisco Systems Inc and Qualcomm Inc.

The newspaper, published by the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said the source also mentioned halting the purchase of Boeing Co airplanes.

The source told the Global Times: “China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights” if the US moves forward with the plan to change rules and bar essential suppliers of chips, including Taiwan-based TSMC, from selling chips to Huawei. 

Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have spiked in recent weeks, with officials on both sides suggesting a hard-won deal that defused a bitter 18-month trade war could be abandoned months after it was signed in January.

In addition to the move on Huawei, the US Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees billions in federal retirement dollars, this week also said it would indefinitely delay plans to invest in some Chinese companies that are under scrutiny in Washington.

The US has advised countries to boycott Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment, in setting up new 5G mobile phone networks over concerns the equipment could be used by China to spy on communications.

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