The Latest on trade tensions between the U.S. and China (all times local):
South Korea says it’s discussing security issues regarding its 5G, or fifth generation, cellphone networks with the United States following a report the Trump administration is demanding that Seoul join a “war” against Huawei.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry and presidential office did not confirm Friday a report by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper that U.S. officials want Seoul to block a local wireless carrier that uses Huawei equipment for its 5G services from unspecified “sensitive areas.”
It’s unclear whether Seoul would accept potential U.S. demands to block imports of Huawei products at risk of triggering retaliation from China, its biggest trade partner.
Chinese surveillance equipment maker Hikvision says it takes U.S. concerns about its business “very seriously” and is taking measures to ensure it complies with human rights standards.
The statement Friday comes amid allegations the company facilitates mass surveillance in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang and could be targeted by Washington in a trade war with China.
Activists have been urging the U.S. and other countries to sanction China over repression of members of Muslim minority ethnic groups in Xinjiang, where an estimated 1 million people are being detained in re-education camps.
The New York Times reported the U.S. Commerce Department might put Hikvision on its “entity list,” restricting its business with U.S. companies.
In its statement, the company said it had “engaged with the U.S. government regarding all of this since last October.”
China’s state media has unleashed fresh attacks on the U.S. as the tariff war between world’s two largest economies continues.
The China Daily newspaper on Friday accused Washington of seeking to “colonize global business” by targeting Chinese firms.
The Global Times accused the U.S. of “hegemonic hubris” and launching a “global assault” on free trade.
The Trump administration last week put Huawei on a blacklist that effectively barred U.S. firms from selling the Chinese company computer chips and other components without government approval. The move could cripple Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of networking gear and second-biggest smartphone maker.
Washington has called Huawei a threat to national security.
The Trump administration has imposed 25% tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports and has plans to hit another $300 billion worth.