Trump administration claims Huawei ‘backed by Chinese military’

People shop in a Huawei store in Barcelona, ​​Spain

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The U.S. Department of Defense has determined that 20 major Chinese companies, including Huawei, are owned or supported by the Chinese military.

The list, seen by the US media, includes the video surveillance company Hikvision, China Telecoms, China Mobile and AVIC.

The determination could lay the foundations for new U.S. financial sanctions against businesses.

It comes when the U.S. pressured other countries, including the UK, to ban Huawei for national security reasons.

The White House and Huawei have been contacted by the BBC for comment.

Under United States law, the Department of Defense is required to track down companies “owned or controlled” by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army that are active in the United States.

The Pentagon has been under pressure in recent months by legislators from both democratic and republican parties to publish and update the list.

Political reviews requested by senators

In November, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross asking for an update on the American policy reviews that have been mandated by the 2018 Export Control Reform Act and the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. .

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Senators Chuck Schumer and Tom Cotton called on the Commerce Department to investigate whether China has stolen American technology with military applications

In the letter, the senators stressed their concerns about the danger of exporting critical US technologies to Chinese-linked companies.

They also questioned why the Commerce Department had been slow in completing the export control reviews under the two acts.

Senators pointed out that reviews should be conducted to assess whether the Chinese Communist Party had stolen American technology with military applications, as well as whether it had recruited Chinese companies to exploit emerging civilian technologies for military purposes.

“What is the state of this review and implementation of the results? Will this review determine specific sectors of the American economy that the Chinese are targeting for espionage and forced technology transfer efforts? Will you change the scope of end use controls military and end users in China? Will you make the results of this review public? “wrote Cotton and Mr Schumer.

“We urge you to conduct these mandatory reviews as quickly and accurately as possible. Thank you for your time and attention on this important national security issue.”

The White House has already taken several steps against Huawei and other Chinese companies, including banning U.S. companies from selling certain technologies to them without permission. The administration also claimed that its trade war with China, which resulted in billions of dollars in tariffs, was a response to the theft of U.S. trade secrets.

But some have addressed the demands of some of Washington to act more aggressively.

Huawei contested the United States’ claims against it as “unfounded accusations”.

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