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China: British Tech Ban Discrimination 11/25 06:30


   BEIJING (AP) -- China accused Britain on Wednesday of improperly attacking 
Chinese tech companies after the British government proposed a law to block 
market access to telecom equipment giant Huawei and other vendors that are 
deemed high-risk.

   The foreign ministry gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate if 
the law proposed Tuesday is approved. It would tighten security requirements 
for next-generation wireless and optical fiber networks and fine violators.

   The Trump administration is lobbying European and other allies to avoid 
Huawei and other Chinese vendors as they upgrade telecom networks. Washington 
says Huawei, China's first global tech brand, is a security risk, which the 
company denies.

   "Without any evidence, the British side has repeatedly cooperated with the 
United States to discriminate against and suppress Chinese companies under the 
pretext of unfounded risks," said a ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian.

   Britain is "blatantly violating the principles of market economy and free 
trade, seriously damaging the normal operations of Chinese companies" and 
hurting trust between the two governments, Zhao said.

   Huawei is at the center of U.S.-Chinese tension over technology and security.

   The Trump administration is trying to limit U.S. market access to Chinese 
companies it says might collect too much information about users or pose other 
risks. They include video app TikTok, video surveillance provider HikVision and 
messaging service WeChat.

   The law proposed Tuesday would formalize British Prime Minister Boris 
Johnson's July order that blocks Huawei from a planned fifth-generation, or 5G, 
network. Britain earlier gave Huawei a limited role but reversed that under 
U.S. pressure.

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